Cardale Jones Is Staying Put

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

So much for that.

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones announced at a Thursday press conference that he is returning to Ohio State next year.

The 6-5, 250-pound redshirt sophomore only has three college starts under his belt, but they were big ones. Taking over following injuries to Braxton Miller and JT Barrett, Jones helped guide the Buckeyes to wins over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon in the National Championship. Jones completed 61 percent of his throws during that stretch and tossed seven touchdowns to two interceptions, and also ran for 90  yards and a score.

He accounted for 280 yards and scored twice (one passing, one rushing) in the title game Monday night. Despite his limited experience, the traits and ability Jones flashed over the past few weeks stirred up some draft buzz.

“This is one of the most bizarre scenarios I can remember because right now if he came to me and said, ‘Should I?’, I don’t know if I could advise him against going out for the 2015 draft,” Todd McShay told Mike & Mike this week.

“I finally saw him come off his first read and start to see his second read and see a little bit more of the field. He’s obviously just an ox running the football and that’s great, but what you do like is from inside the pocket, he’s making NFL throws, and there isn’t a throw out there that he cannot make. If he ended up declaring for this year’s draft, who knows, maybe a team would end up taking a flier on him in the fourth round. He’s just an extremely raw version of Ben Roethlisberger at this point.”

At 22 years of age and facing a potential logjam at quarterback at Ohio State, some were expecting Jones to opt for the NFL. The speculation grew when Jones scheduled a press conference for this afternoon, and held it at his old high school instead at Ohio State.

But he’s staying put. Back to the Mariota watch.