In the end Cardale Jones made the most important and unselfish decisions of his life. The National Championship winning quarterback will return to Ohio State next season. Jones made the announcement in his hometown and not opting to enter the NFL draft caught many by surprise.
“My decision was very simple,” Jones said. “After talking it over with my family, my friends, my coaching staff, I’m going to return next year for school.” After playing in just three collegiate games, returning for another year with the Buckeyes was the obvious choice.
It actually leaves head coach Urban Meyer with a big problem, in addition to Jones, Ohio State has two very good QB’s in J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller each of whom went out with injuries that created the opportunity for Jones. Most everyone outside Columbus, OH wrote-off the Buckeyes this season when Miller went out early in the season. The win last Monday night over the Oregon Ducks speaks to the recruiting genius that Meyer truly is. Would it surprise me if Miller or Barrett transferred to another school? Not at all, what would surprise me if Jones wasn’t guaranteed the starting job next fall.
Early on Jones was considered a great talent but lacked in the good teammate department. He was considered a selfish guy. The decision Thursday tells us how far this young man has come in a short period of time and Ohio State will benefit greatly from his magnanimity.
The fact that the NCAA policy only gave him 72 hours to decide whether or not he should stay in school or go pro tells us how far out of whack their priorities are. Stay in school and risk losing millions of dollars is a huge gamble for any aspiring athlete. Jones restored my faith in players at the collegiate level. I’ll be rooting for him long after he hangs up his helmet.
Frank Wolf ~ @wolf3328