COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three Ohio State Buckeyes – the most of any school in the country – earned Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America, the organization announced on Monday. Ohio State’s honorees were the trio of quarterback C.J. Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson and cornerback Denzel Burke.
Stroud, Henderson and Burke are Ohio State’s ninth, 10th and 11th FWAA Freshman All-Americans. The organization began naming freshman All-America teams in 2001. The only other time the Buckeyes had three honorees was 2016 when RB Mike Weber, OL Michael Jordan and DL Dre’Mont Jones all made the team.
C.J. Stroud: Heisman Finalist and Much More
Stroud, a redshirt freshman who entered the 2021 season having never attempted a collegiate pass, quickly grew into his role as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback and set himself on a path to end up as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
He saved his best performance for last: in the Rose Bowl against Utah, Stroud help rally Ohio State from a 14-point halftime deficit with a 573-yard passing performance that included a school-record tying six touchdowns. He finished the season with 4,435 yards passing, a single-season record completion percentage of 71.9 and 44 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Stroud’s efficiency rating of 186.6 in an Ohio State single-season record and his yardage and TD totals are second.
Following the regular season, Stroud also did something no other Big Ten player has ever done: he swept the league’s Quarterback of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors. He was also named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, becoming the fourth Buckeye in the last four years to earn a trip to New York City.
TreVeyon Henderson: Freshman TD Record
Henderson, a true freshman from Hopewell, Va., introduced himself to the college football world with two unforgettable early-season moments. The first came on in the opener on Sept. 2 at Minnesota when he caught a screen pass and raced 70 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to help seal a 45-31 win over the Gophers.
The second moment came two weeks later when he burst onto the national scene by rushing for 270 yards – the most ever in a game by a Buckeye freshman – in a victory over Tulsa. His yardage total topped Archie Griffin, who previously set the record 49 years earlier with 239 yards in 1972 vs. North Carolina.
Henderson went on to finish with 1,248 yards on the season and averaged 6.8 yards per carry – 13th best nationally and tied for first in the Big Ten. He scored 19 total touchdowns (15 rushing, four receiving), setting a new freshman single-season record in that category. His yardage total is second-most ever by a freshman, topped only by the 1,403 that J.K. Dobbins ran for in 2017.
Denzel Burke: Team Leader with 12 PBUs
When Denzel Burke got the starting cornerback assignment for the season opener at Minnesota, he became the first true freshman to start the season’s first game on defense in 25 years, since Andy Katzenmoyer did it in 1996.
And, Burke proved to be up to the task all season. He led Ohio State with 12 pass break ups and had 36 tackles. His PBU total ranked second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally. A 13-game starter, his one interception on the year was returned for a touchdown at Rutgers.
From Scottsdale, Ariz., Burke was a third team All-Big Ten selection by the league coaches and received honorable mention honors from the media.
Ohio State’s All-Time FWAA Freshmen All-Americans
2021 – QB C.J. Stroud
2021 – RB TreVeyon Henderson
2021 – CB Denzel Burke
2016 – RB Mike Weber
2016 – OL Michael Jordan
2016 – DL Dre’Mont Jones
2014 – QB J.T. Barrett
2013 – DE Joey Bosa
2008 – C Mike Brewster
2004 – PR Ted Ginn Jr.
2002 – RB Maurice Clarett