They selected the former Ohio State standout second overall in the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday, hoping he would be the one to lead the club to its first Super Bowl appearance.
Texans supporters cheered after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement from a platform in Kansas City. Stroud, meanwhile, embraced his audience members while holding back emotions as he walked to the stage to stand next to Goodell. Suzy Kolber of ESPN interviewed him a little while afterwards.
Stroud said when asked how he felt when the Texans phoned, “God has battle-tested me. “… He’s left me with scars, therefore I’ve gone through combat. I am wearing God’s armour. Everything I’ve experienced has prepared me for this exact moment.
Stroud will take over a club in Houston that went 3-13-1 last season (but won two of its final three games) and scored only 29 touchdowns, which was tied for the second-fewest in the league.
Since 2019, Houston hasn’t ended the season with a winning record. However, with the addition of Stroud and linebacker Will Anderson Jr., for whom the team traded up to No. 3, Texans supporters are once more optimistic about the future.
Stroud completed 69.3% of his passes while passing for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns in his two seasons as the starting quarterback at Ohio State. With Stroud, the Buckeyes had a record of 22-4, including a Rose Bowl victory two years prior and a narrow Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal) loss to eventual national champion Georgia.
The California native from Inland Empire was a contender for the Heisman Trophy both years, coming in fourth in 2021 and third in 2022.
Both Stroud and the Texans front management are confident that he can help Houston achieve comparable levels of individual and team success. When asked why he deserved to be a top choice, Stroud chose not to highlight any of his on-field accomplishments.
According to Stroud, “One thing that I start with is just my foundation as a man where I’m a man of God,” he said in an interview with CBS Sports last month. “I want you to know that. I consider myself to be quite mature for my age, responsible, and respected. Since I had to kind of mature quickly, I had to prepare myself for these situations.
Since he first came into the public eye, Stroud hasn’t been afraid to talk about his faith. He recently revealed to “Faith on the Field” presenter Rob Maaddi how his faith with Christ deepened significantly after his father’s incarceration in 2015 as a preacher.
“When I got to college, I found Christ for myself,” said Stroud, who often played with the cross-like design on one of his thigh pads. “I’m still learning about it today, without a doubt. I’m certainly not flawless. Simply because I am aware that anything can be taken away at any time, it keeps me grounded and humble.
He informed the media before his last season at Ohio State that his religion inspired him to take on leadership roles.
Being a leader is what God has called me to, he said. “So I absolutely strive to express love and let others know that they are not alone, no matter what they are going through or have gone through. They have support. Inspiring them is the truth. They can emulate me.
Stroud also expresses his religion on social media, calling himself a “Follower of Christ” in the biographies of his accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Stroud made care to include the Bible verse Proverbs 3:5–6 in the tweet’s title and to start it with a prayer of thanksgiving to God when he announced his intent to enter the NFL draft.
I want to thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for providing me with health, favour, and opportunity, he said in his letter.
As the No. 2 overall choice of the Houston Texans, Stroud will try to continue to depend on God and be anchored in Him despite having a greater stage and more pressure than ever before.