Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility'It was God's way;' CJ Stroud's mom opens up about his road to the NFL Draft 2nd pick | WSYX
Close Alert

'It was God's way;' CJ Stroud's mom opens up about his road to the NFL Draft 2nd pick

(Photo courtesy of Kim Stroud)
(Photo courtesy of Kim Stroud)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

When former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was drafted second overall by the Houston Texans, the first person he hugged was his mother, Kim Stroud.

“I’ve always been C.J.’s number one fan on the field and off the field,” Kim Stroud said.

It was a moment full of excitement, relief, and affirmation that C.J.’s hard work paid off.

“It was God’s way of saying a sort of reward for not giving up,” Kim said. “We cried so much the whole weekend.”

C.J.’s road to the NFL was paved with adversity. The star signal-caller shined on the field, but his personal life took a hard turn growing up in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

“We went from having a traditional family with a Mom and Dad dynamic to me being a single mom,” Kim recalled. “The financial part of that I tried my best, but it was extremely hard.”

Kim would work 12-hour days to provide for her four children, but the family fell on hard times.

PHOTOS: OSU players picked in first round of NFL Draft

“I would do whatever I could to keep a roof over my children’s heads,” Kim said. “Sometimes food was very scarce.”

“We were almost homeless, no one would take us in, and we didn’t have anywhere to go. At one point, I was going to place my kids at different places because I didn’t want them to be homeless. We went through a lot.”

When C.J. arrived on Ohio State’s campus, he carried a dream and only $10 in his pocket. With Kim being 2,404 miles away from her son, she tried calling anyone to help. His new teammates' families stepped up.

Gee Scott Jr.’s dad and Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s father took C.J. shopping at Target, setting C.J. up with toiletries and dorm essentials.

“I was just floored at the love,” Kim Stroud said.

C.J.’s village was extensive at Ohio State, including the support from his head coach Ryan Day. Kim sent numerous thank you notes the night of the NFL Draft in Kansas City.

“I always want to thank, and I have thanked, Coach Day personally for being so open and supportive of C.J.,” Kim Stroud said. “They have similar backgrounds with their fathers as far as them not being there, so Coach Day understands C.J. on a different level than most coaches probably would if he hadn’t gone through that.”

C.J. became a two-time Heisman finalist, Big-Ten offensive player, and quarterback of the year, broke program records, and was the highest-drafted Ohio State quarterback in program history.

“He’s shown the world that you don’t have to give up, and you don’t have to let people label you, and no matter what happens in your family life or on the field, just keep fighting,” Kim said.

Loading ...