"Built in a lab."
That's how C.J. Stroud describes Indianapolis Colts rookie QB Anthony Richardson, or as he refers to him, "Ant." On Sunday, the two will take the field at NRG Stadium as division rivals. Their history, however, dates back to their high school football days.
"Yeah, 'Ant' [Anthony Richardson] is my guy, man," Stroud said. "Known him since high school. Competed against each other at Elite 11 and became real good friends there and kind of kept a relationship when he was at Florida and I was at Ohio State, and [I'm] really, really happy for him. He's always been a hell of a player to me, and just really excited to see what he does in his career, and I'm always going to be supportive of him and be a brother and a friend to him. But yeah man, I'm excited to go play against him and compete again."
Since 1950, there have been 6 games with top-5 drafted rookie QBs playing head-to-head. The Colt-Texans Week 2 matchup marks just the seventh time with Stroud (2nd overall) and Richardson (4th overall) looking for their first NFL wins on Sunday.
"Whenever I see him, I always tell him he's the GOAT, he's a baller," Richardson said via Colts.com. "But I'm looking forward to playing against him, playing against their team. He's definitely a dog, he's a baller."
In Week 1, both Stroud and Richardson recorded over 260 offensive yards despite their respective losses. Stroud was 28-of-44 and passed for 242 yards while rushing for 20 yards at Baltimore. Richardson completed 24-of-37 for 223 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Colts' loss to the Jaguars. He also rushed for 40 yards and touchdown.
While Indianapolis has won four of the last six matchups against the Texans, the Colts did not win either matchup against the Texans in 2022. The Colts currently lead the all-time series, 31-10-1.
"Now that we were both picked high in the draft at quarterback and playing against each other in the same division, it's kind of cool," Stroud said. "Of course, we're both going to compete against each other and we both want to win, and I think that shows what kind of competitive nature we have. But I'm rooting for him and I hope that everything in his career goes well except for when he plays the Texans. But, no, that's my guy. I love him to death. He's a great dude, and he's a good rapper. I heard his little songs. I like hearing music, too. So, shout out [to] my dog 'Ant,' man. We're trying to get him this week."
The Texans will host the Indianapolis Colts in their first home game of the 2023 regular season. Kickoff against the Colts is set for noon CT on FOX and SportsRadio 610.