Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud uses NIL deal to give teammates $500 gift cards for new suits

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was able to reward his teammates thanks to the endorsements he’s been able to earn off the field over the past year.

Stroud surprised each of his teammates with gift cards for suits to wear before the Buckeyes open the 2022 season against Notre Dame on Saturday night. Stroud surprised his teammates with the announcement of the $500 Express gift cards after a practice.

As the preseason betting favorite for the Heisman Trophy and the quarterback of one of the most recognizable schools in college football, Stroud is well-positioned to capitalize on his image rights and the whole team is benefitting as a result. Stroud has an endorsement deal with the retailer.

A potential top-five pick in the 2023 NFL draft, Stroud has likely secured seven figures worth of endorsement deals thanks to his play in 2021 and status as Ohio State’s quarterback. The 2022 season is the second season where players have been able to earn money off the field through their status as football players.

The ability for players to earn endorsement income has changed the way that schools recruit top talent and, coupled with reforms to the NCAA’s transfer rules, paved the way for players to more easily transfer between schools. And those changes haven’t been met with unanimous approval. But it’s hard to argue against the ability for players to earn what they’re worth if they’re not getting paid to play football. And especially hard to argue against it after seeing what Stroud did for his teammates.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) celebrates after a touchdown during the Rose Bowl game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes on January 1, 2022 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud is the preseason favorite for the Heisman. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)