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Ohio State had an amazing year in sports. From a Sweet 16 appearance in women's basketball, to sending two players to the NBA Draft, a Heisman trophy nomination and record breaking performances, but at the end of the year, one player stood out above the rest: C.J. Stroud, QB1 for THE Ohio State Buckeyes over the last season.
He led the Buckeyes back to the College Football Playoffs and wound up in New York for the second time in his career, all without his top wide receiver this season and a revolving door of running backs next to him. He finished second in the nation in passing touchdowns and passer rating this past season and laid it all on the line in the semi-final against Georgia. He also began the year with one of the most memorable Rose Bowl performances in Buckeye history as he threw for over 500 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes massive comeback win against the Utah Utes without his Top 2 wide receivers in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.
Even with all the criticism he has faced and the obvious knocks against him, he has never backed down from the challenge of wearing the Scarlet and Gray and being the quarterback of the largest college fanbase in the nation. C.J. Stroud has personified what it means to be a Buckeye over the last year. Against the odds, he persevered time and time again, and now he finds himself going to the NFL as first-round pick and potentially the first player drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.
E.J. Liddell- During his final year at Ohio State, Liddell led the Buckeyes in three of the five major stat categories: Points, rebounds and blocks. He was the most consistent player for Ohio State game in and game out, and he came through when the team needed him the most. Liddell then found himself as an early second-round pick in the NBA Draft to the New Orleans Pelicans. An amazing season was capped off short, as the Buckeyes were knocked out of March Madness in the Round of 32 after a 10-point loss to the No. 2 team in the nation in Villanova.
Jacy Sheldon- She might be the best women's basketball player Columbus has ever seen. Sheldon led the Buckeyes to a 23-6 record last season and pushed them deep into March Madness before going down in the Sweet 16 by three points to No. 2 Texas. She led the 2021-22 Buckeyes in points, assists and steals a season ago and then continued her prolific run into the start of the 2022-23 season before going down with an injury.
Prior to her injury, Sheldon was leading the nation in steals with six per game, all while being among the team leaders in assists and points. She has only played five games this season, but the undefeated Buckeyes will be considered a serious threat to win the National Championship once she returns.