Ryan Day on C.J. Stroud's NFL draft process: 'Making that decision wasn't easy.'

It was a foregone conclusion that Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud would enter the 2023 NFL draft after last season.

 From the start of the season all the way through his massive performance against Georgia in the College Football Playoff ,

and until the last day he could declare for the draft, it was assumed he was off to the next step in his football career.

However, a funny thing happened on the way to opening that door. Stroud did not immediately make his decision known.

Underclassmen had until Jan. 16 to declare for the NFL draft. As each day passed and the deadline drew closer,

 rumors started circulating that Ohio State’s No. 2 all-time leader in passing yards might actually return to the banks of the Olentangy ,

for another ride. He finally announced his intentions to enter the draft on the last day he could.

If you thought that was all smoke and a way of simply dragging things out for drama’s sake,

apparently, think again. According to head coach Ryan Day, Stroud really wrestled with the decision.

When asked whether he had hope that No. 7 would run through that tunnel again, Day, too, was holding his breath.