Cardale Jones: a Cinderella Story

(Originally Published Friday, January 16, 2015)
Post College Football Championship, all eyes have been on the best-dressed boy at the ball: Cardale Jones. The Cleveland QB was set to be the 2nd string QB for Ohio State this year. After JT Barrett was signed, Jones was pushed to the 3rd string spot. He knew, however, that his day would come.

Pre-season practice left the Heisman Candidate, Miller, with a shoulder injury….on his 666th throw of the year. I’m not into superstitions, but that is quite the coincidence! Whether or not that is a fact, it’s an interesting story, nonetheless. Ohio State mourned the loss of Miller, but quickly looked to Barrett to step into his shoes. Barrett, a true freshman from Texas, came out like a rocket. He stunned OSU fans with his poise and intelligence in tough situations. Unfortunately, during the most anticipated game of the year–the *ichigan game–he suffered from a broken ankle. That brings us to the beginning of our story.

Cardale Jones was thrust into the spotlight with practically no warning. He stood tall and OSU fans realized that they may have an Ace up the sleeve. Jones was only in for a few plays at the end of the game, but he went 2/3 in completions. The B1G championship game against Wisconsin was going to be the true determinant of whether or not Ohio State should be in the playoff. The whole world was saying that “Ohio State will never be as strong as they were with Miller or Barrett. They might as well count themselves out of the playoff.” Boy did they eat their words. OSU went 59-0 against Wisconsin. Melvin Gordon couldn’t get past OSU’s defense….a major shock to Wisconsin fans. Cardale Jones showed the world why he’d earned the nickname “12-Gauge”. His sheer size and incredible arm tore apart Wisconsin, bit by bit. What Jones was unable to tear apart himself, Elliot, Smith, Samuel and Bosa were able to run and take opportunities to score against the Badgers. Everyone was shocked at his performance. Shortly thereafter, the selection committee determined that Ohio State was indeed playoff-ready as the 4th seed.

Up against the #1 seed, Alabama, OSU was ragged on because “TCU and Baylor could’ve really made it.” Baylor took a crap on themselves by letting off the gas pedal on Michigan State and TCU won against Ole Miss, but it was apparent that neither were of the caliber necessary to enter the playoff. To keep it short, Alabama came out strong, but quickly struggled against all aspects of Ohio State’s game. The score was not actually a reflection of how the game went down, but a Buckeye win pushed them into the inaugural championship.

As discussed in a previous post, the CFP game wasn’t a blow-out, per se, but it was apparent that Ohio State was the clear victor. This left everyone with one simple question: Would Jones enter the draft? He had a mere two days to make the decision and everyone was on pins and needles. On one hand, he’d been incredible in literally the 3 biggest games in college football. On the other hand, he had only played in 3 full college football games. Decision time was fast approaching.

Yesterday at 4PM EST, Cardale Jones announced that he would be staying with The Ohio State University and would not be entering the draft this year. This honestly was the best decision he could’ve made. He’s played 3 games and has a B1G Championship, Cotton Bowl Win and National Championship under his belt…the dude literally broke football. But this intelligent decision will impact his level of play next year and he can only improve from here. He flat out stated that he will enter the NFL draft, but wants to be a college graduate first. Since the birth of his daughter, Chloe, in early November 2014, Cardale has come around as not only an excellent athlete, but an impeccable father and has made the decision to focus on both studies and football.

While I am extremely excited about this decision, I’m very happy for Jones as a human being. I think this truly is the best thing he could’ve chosen for both himself and his daughter. Not bad for a boy from Cleveland! In Cardale we trust.

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