Cardale Jones says ‘who knows’ to questions about NFL future
After leading the Buckeyes to a national championship, he’s pondering whether to head to the NFL.
A third-year sophomore, Jones is eligible to enter the draft. It’s now a feasible option after the way he played in the final three games of the season, and since there’s no guarantee he’ll be the Buckeyes starter next season.
Jones was MVP of the Big Ten championship game, a 59-0 rout of Wisconsin in his first college start. He then led the Buckeyes to wins over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon in Monday night’s national championship game.
"It’s definitely a `who knows’ right now," Jones said.
Braxton Miller was supposed to be the Buckeyes’ starter but he went down with a shoulder injury before the season even began. Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett took over the job and played so well that he finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
But Barrett sustained a season-ending injury in the regular-season finale against Michigan, pushing Jones to the top of the depth chart.
Boy, did he take advantage of his chance.
Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns against Wisconsin in his first college start. He passed for 243 yards and another TD in a 42-35 win over Alabama. He turned in another solid performance in the title game, despite an odd play that resulted in a fumble, completing 16 of 23 for 242 yards and a score with one interception.
If Jones returns next season, there’s no guarantee he’ll keep the No. 1 job.
Barrett should be recovered from a broken ankle by the start of next season, giving him a chance to reclaim the spot.
Miller also has a year of eligibility remaining, but he could transfer without sitting out since he’s already graduated.
"It’s up in the air, sort of, because my No. 1 priority is graduating from Ohio State University and walking away with something that no one can take away from me," Jones said.