Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

CJ Stroud will not play for Ohio State vs. Akron and there is a chance the Buckeyes quarterback will enter the transfer portal if he does not get the job back.

Even before the start of the season, CJ Stroud was on the shortlist of the Heisman Trophy candidates. Now he may have lost his first quarterback job at Ohio State before September ends.

Stroud was up and down as Ohio State’s starting quarterback for his first three games. He overcame a slow start and led an opener comeback win against Minnesota. He then threw nearly 500 yards in a home loss to Oregon before taking a back seat in the Week 3 win against Tulsa.

Stroud won’t start against Akron in week 4 and may not play at all due to his shoulder injury. Kyle McCord will kick off the Buckeyes and it could be the first of many for the former five-star recruit.

McCord lost the quarterback competition that summer, but he can’t return it with a strong performance against Akron and a good week of training that leads into the Big Ten game.

Ohio state fans have high expectations as they should, but if McCord excels in his audition against Akron, head coach Ryan Day might have a hard time getting Stroud back in the middle.

All of this could lead Stroud to seek a transfer.

Where could CJ Stroud go if he leaves the state of Ohio?

5. CJ Stroud’s potential transfer targets: Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia has been home to transfers like JT Daniels and Jamie Newman in recent years. Kirby Smart and Georgia Football hosted Stroud on one of his official visits when he got out of high school. There was interest then, but could there be mutual interest now? The latter is a lot harder to spot considering the Bulldogs have former five-star recruit Brock Vandagriff on the list. He is expected to be the quarterback of the future for the Dawgs, so Stroud is unlikely to want to get into a competition in which he is the underdog.

4. CJ Stroud’s potential transfer targets: Michigan Wolverines

A player who moves from the state of Ohio to Michigan or vice versa just isn’t going to happen, is it? Michigan received an official visit from Stroud before deciding to go to rival Ohio State. Michigan clearly liked what Stroud came up with as high-profile recruits, and Jim Harbaugh was intrigued by his skills and potential at the time. What makes this unlikely is the presence of five-star newbie JJ McCarthy in Michigan. It’s the future for Michigan, much like Georgia in that Stroud is unlikely to sustain Michigan and vice versa.