What to Know About Cardale Jones

osuHelmet“We ain’t come to play school.” Yeah yeah, we get it. A freshmen kid on a Friday morning was displeased on his long journey to history. Only at Ohio State would an 18 year old kid get blasted (even two years later) for tweeting that “class is a waste of time”. The Penn State and Michigan fans who incessantly bring this quote up would never have said a bad word about their teachers or assignments, right? It doesn’t matter thought because there is much more to Cardale than that ill-advised tweet. With Tuesday’s news about Braxton, it is time to get to know Cardale Jones in case he is the one called upon next Saturday.

Here is his timeline since high school:

Cardale JonesAs a recruit

Jones committed to be a part of the 2011 recruiting class coming out of Cleveland Glenville (you may have heard of that school), and then spent a year at Fork Union before enrolling at OSU in 2012. He was a three star recruit on ESPN, Rivals and Scout, while rated a four star on 247 Sports. He was heavily recruited in Big Ten country with offers from Cincy, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State and West Virginia along with a few MAC schools. As a senior Jones was barely listed over two hundred pounds; currently he is a monstrous 6’5” 250 pounds. Though a good runner, speed was not his strength with every site listing him has a pro style quarterback and his forty was generally around the 4.9 range.

2013 Season

With Miller and Guiton ahead of him on the depth chart, snaps were hard to come by for the redshirt freshmen in 2013. Cardale only played in three games and threw a total of two passes. In mop up duty Cardale was able to run the ball efficiently while averaging 8 yards a carry on 17 attempts with one touchdown. It may come back to bite Jones and the Buckeyes in 2014 that he was not given more meaningful snaps.

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2014 Spring Camp

Urban Meyer was very high on Jones this spring, even stating he was the “clear leader” for the backup position and ran with the starters for most of the spring. At the end of camp spring game, Cardale struggled mightily, going 14 of 36 for 131 yards. Jones never looked comfortable or had any accuracy. The game was no contact for the quarterbacks, which really hindered his game. His competition for backup quarterback, J.T. Barrett did not light up the scoreboard either, but did show better than Cardale. Still the general consensus was that it was Jones job to lose come fall.

2014 Fall Camp

With little media access, it is hard to say what exactly happened to Jones since camp started. Many were surprised to hear that J.T. Barrett was the new number 2 on the depth chart. Was poor play the reason? Or did J.T. just put it all together? With Tuesday’s news of Braxton Miller being out for the season, Ohio State fans better hope it is the latter. The ironic thing is that it looks like Cardale will start the season where everybody expected — the backup.

If he is the guy in 2014

If Jones does end up the starter this season, what would be the offensive identity you might ask? The best guess would be to expect a lot of power running plays. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman loved running misdirection to the outside with the quickness of Braxton Miller the past two years which was accompanied with running the bruiser Hyde up the middle. If Jones is the man, expect that to be reversed. With track stars Ezekiel Elliot and Dontre Wilson set to bounce a lot of carries outside, Cardale Jones would be a perfect fit to carry the ball between the tackles now and again-even if it is just in “freshmen Tim Tebow” type situations. The passing game would be a big unknown with Jones having hardly any college experience throwing the ball and a dismal spring game effort, Buckeye fans would have to wonder if Jones is capable of being accurate.

If you type “Cardale Jones” into google the first word that pops up is “tweet”. For his sake, let’s hope he can change that word to “highlights” after the 2014 year is over.

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