Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud has been named the 2023 Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year after a stellar season in which he helped guide his team back into the playoffs.
The second overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, Stroud recorded the third-most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history and became the fourth qualifying rookie quarterback in NFL history with a passer rating of 100-or-higher. He also led all rookie quarterbacks with 23 touchdown passes and had just five interceptions, becoming the youngest player all-time to lead the league in touchdown-to-interception ratio.
“First and foremost, I want to give all glory and praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Stroud said as he accepted the award via video link. “I’d also like to thank my family and friends for the unwavering love and support. Also, I wouldn’t have had the success I did this year without my teammates and coaches.
“It’s a blessing to be named the 2023 Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year, especially considering all of the great players in my rookie class that were also nominated, along with those that have won the honour before me. Thank you to the fans who took the time to vote for me. We’re excited about what we’re building in Houston and this is just the beginning.”
Stroud had six games with at least 300 passing yards, tied for the second-most by a rookie quarterback all-time, and, from Weeks 9 to 12, became the first rookie quarterback ever with at least 300 passing yards in four consecutive games. In Week 9, he set the NFL single-game rookie record with 470 passing yards.
Stroud had nine games with at least 250 passing yards this season, the second-most such games by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. He began the season with 191 pass attempts prior to his first interception, the most consecutive pass attempts without an interception to begin a career in NFL history and the second-longest such streak by a rookie at any point all-time.
Stroud was one of six finalists nominated for the award, alongside Dolphins running back De’Von Achane, Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs and Detroit team-mate, tight end, Sam LaPorta. Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua and Falcons running back Bijan Robinson completed the sextet.