C.J. Stroud set numerous records as a standout passer during his Ohio State career. Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, Stroud is making it clear that he’s willing to run the ball as well.

At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Stroud told reporters Friday that he regrets not running the ball more during his Buckeye career.

“I told them like I’ll tell y’all,” Stroud said, per Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com. “I didn’t do it a lot in college and I felt like I should have and it’s something I do regret.”

Over 3 seasons at OSU, Stroud logged 80 rushes for 136 yards. In his first year, he broke off a 48-yard run. In the 2021 campaign, Stroud’s second year, he finished with negative-20 rushing yards. He ran a bit more this past season, logging 47 carries for 108 yards. In the College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia, Stroud ran 12 times for 34 yards.

While the box score from the Georgia game stands out, Stroud said he’s always been willing to pick up hard yards on the ground.

“I feel like I could have done it a lot more,” Stroud said. “But I think if you turn on the film and you really watch what I do and you really look at film, I have used my athleticism, not only just in the Georgia game, where I did it a lot. I’ve done it in every other game. I’ve had tough third down runs, I’ve had tough fourth down runs. But there’s times where I didn’t run the ball and maybe I should have.

“I feel like that’s something that I learned and that’s what football is about. It’s about stepping back up to the plate and going back and working hard and fixing those problems. So that’s something that I plan to face, and I’ll show my athleticism, I’ll show my availability to escape pressure. I’ve done it before on film, but some people don’t think I can do it, so I’m gonna do it again.”

Will Stroud’s lack of running hurt his NFL Draft stock?

As a league, the NFL is trending toward more willing runners at quarterback. Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts are stars because of the highlight plays they make as runners.

Teams, though, will still draft a quarterback based on his passing prowess. In recent years, both Zach Wilson and Mac Jones were taken in the first round.

Stroud’s stated willingness to be a runner should ease teams’ concerns about his lack of running in college. As Stroud said, he demonstrated that he was able to run when needed.

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