What’s next for Ohio State’s Cardale Jones?
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer named J.T. Barrett his new starting quarterback Tuesday in a brief appearance on the Big Ten coaches teleconference.
A day later meeting with reporters in Columbus, Meyer faced a natural followup question: What is the role now of former starter Cardale Jones?
"Well J.T. had a role in the offense even before being used in the red zone," Meyer said. "It’s called ‘quarterback’ — it’s called leader, it’s called encourager, whatever. All of the above. So he will have a very prominent role."
That does not necessarily mean Jones will see playing time Saturday night when Ohio State travels to Rutgers, "but he has to stay engaged is the whole point," Meyer said.
Coaches often make a habit of saying they are going to need more than one player at any position through the course of the year, but recent history indicates it could be more than a matter of coach-speak in this case from Meyer, who saw two starting quarterbacks suffer major injuries last year.
Barrett started 12 games a year ago but broke his ankle on a zone-read play against Michigan, leading to Jones becoming the starter and helping Ohio State beat Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to become the first College Football Playoff national champions. Barrett was still named Big Ten Quarterback of the Year after breaking Drew Brees’ conference record for touchdowns accounted for in a single season.
Barrett had gotten the job after Braxton Miller, the starter since early in the 2011 season, suffered a shoulder injury in preseason camp. The shoulder had been surgically repaired in early spring after initially being hurt in the Orange Bowl against Clemson in January 2014.
Miller also was in and out of the lineup in 2012 and ’13 with various injuries, missing almost all of three games in the latter season with a sprained ankle.