The popular and probable consensus opinion regarding Cardale Jones and his announcement was that Jones was going to declare for the NFL. Over the previous days, many people asked me for my opinion, and now is as good as any for me to articulate why I believed Jones was going to the NFL ~
Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller were recruited by former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel in the 2011 recruiting class. To shore up his grades, and provide some separation from Miller, Jones agreed to enroll at Fork Union Military Academy in 2011.
Upon returning to Columbus in 2012, Jones was faced with the following realities – the head coach who recruited him was gone, and replaced with someone who neither recruited him, nor wanted him. Braxton Miller had completed a freshman season in 2011 that had captivated the fanbase, as well as the incoming coaching staff. As someone who attended the 2012 Ohio State spring game, the fact that Jones did not garner a single snap in an intrasquad scrimmage spoke volumes about where Jones stood in the eyes of the coaching staff.
And then during the 2012 season, Jones decided to tweet…THIS.
Yes, I guess you could say I was fairly certain Cardale Jones was eventually going to leave Columbus, and probably not in a positive fashion in the eyes of Coach Meyer or any of the other Ohio State coaches.
Jones played sparingly in 2013, and was beaten out for the starting quarterback position by J.T. Barrett in the 2014 fall camp after Miller went down with a season-ending injury. Again, there was speculation that Jones would transfer after losing the job to Barrett, especially after being the starting quarterback throughout all of the 2014 spring practices.
Flash forward to November 29th, 2014. Ohio State is in a dogfight with That Team Up North, and J.T. Barrett is knocked out for the season. Anyone who has listened to me throughout this past season on any of the Men of the Scarlet and Gray podcasts can recall how I often lamented how infrequently Jones played, especially when Ohio State had substantial leads. I actually tweeted after Barrett went down about this…
For all of you who have wondered why I kept pushing for Cardale Jones to play more than he has, OSU fans are about to see if he is ready
— Chip Minnich (@ChipMinnich) November 29, 2014
We all know how gloriously it turned out. I believe @JeffSvoboda articulated it well…
No matter how this Cardale story ends... what a ride, man. Like, imagine someone telling you how this would play out at Thanksgiving dinner
— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) January 15, 2015
When I think about being 22 years old, with a child to provide for…I can honestly say that I probably would have taken the money. Quite honestly, even without a child, turning down the money at 22 years old would have been probably impossible, as I reflect upon it.
Reminder: if anyone offered you $400k+/year to leave college early, you would have left a cartoon-style hole in the wall on the way out.
— Tom Orr (@TomOrr4) January 15, 2015
If #Seinfeld were still on TV, and George Steinbrenner could comment on Cardale Jones' decision http://t.co/ju3YG2EFUu via @YouTube
— Chip Minnich (@ChipMinnich) January 15, 2015
No matter how it turns out in 2015, Cardale Jones has secured his place in the hearts and minds of Ohio State fans going forward.
Not sure what was more impressive -- Cardale Jones' championship run or his presser to stay in school. Wow.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) January 15, 2015
Will Jones be the Ohio State starter at quarterback next season? It is certainly possible, but if Ohio State fans have learned anything this past season, anything is possible, especially at the quarterback position. Jones does have one advantage going into the 2015 season...
Urban says the starters win their positions in the spring. Who is the only 1 of the 3 practicing?
— Matt Finkes (@MattFinkes) January 15, 2015
No matter how this all turns out, at least Ohio State fans can count upon Tyvis Powell to keep Cardale Jones in line throughout the 2015 season...
Whether 12 go or stay, Rent is still due on the 1st and I'm gone have my half!
— Tyvis Powell (@1Tyvis) January 15, 2015