The Case for Cardale

By Jeff Beck on March 24, 2014 at 1:00p
Cardale Doing His Thang
62 Comments

Like it or not, Braxton Miller’s successor will be named after the 2014 season. Much has been written about the ascension of J.T. Barrett or even the not-yet-committed Torrance Gibson to the throne, and that makes sense. Both were/are highly touted high school recruits at the quarterback position.

But, spilling so much ink on Barrett or Gibson marginalizes one player who's looked incredibly impressive in spring practice thus far: Cardale Jones.

Time and time again Jones’ name has come up in spring ball pressers. He’s grabbed the attention of head coach, Urban Meyer, and he’s been running with the first team since Miller’s surgery. It’s not Jim Tressel’s team, so Jones isn’t the starting field marshall by veteran default. Meyer is rolling with Jones because he’s earned it. So it begs the question: why not Cardale in 2014 and beyond?

Everyone knows about Jones’ tweet. The 118 character train wreck now serves as a textbook example (literally) of how NOT to conduct yourself on social media. Cardale was reprimanded and the situation slowly faded into the background of a magical undefeated season. After-all, Cardale was the third string quarterback. Who cared? He was a lifetime away from starting (if ever).

Well, that lifetime’s run it’s course. With the graduation of Kenny Guiton, Jones is the only Ohio State quarterback beyond Miller with any in-game experience. Suddenly, Cardale is an injury away from potentially leading the Scarlet and Gray in meaningful minutes, and in an unscientific poll of dudes at the bar it’s not sitting well with Buckeye Nation.

No one wants a perceived knucklehead leading their team. That’s why many have been quick to pass on Cardale in favor of anyone else capable of throwing a football. But a snap judgement isn’t the way to go here. The tweet was dumb no doubt. But, previous Buckeye legends have committed worse (in the NCAA's eyes) and were given second chances.

That's exactly what Urban is willing to give Cardale: 

“Talk about a changed guy. He was a guy that couldn’t get out of his own way before. You know about the tweet. He’s a completely different guy.” 

Meyer believes in Jones because he’s seeing the work-ethic on the field. If Jones has indeed gotten “out of his own way", the results could be terrifying for the Big Ten.

The kid already has the frame to be successful at the college level. Coming in at 6’5’’ 250 lbs that’s one inch taller and 17 lbs heavier than Terrelle Pryor. Anyone remember what Terrelle was able to do with that size?

Jones gettin bizzy
Cardale wants an elevated role in 2014.

That’s bowling ball stuff, but Jones isn’t just a running back playing QB. Reports out of practice state Cardale’s arm strength has been impressive, with the Cleveland Glenville product consistently putting the deep ball on the money. For anyone who’s followed Jones’ high school career, that shouldn’t be surprising. As the starting quarterback for the Tarblooders, Jones tallied a 24-3 record and passed for 1,689 yards and 22 TDs in his senior season.

Size is there, mechanics are there and knowledge of Meyer’s system should be there as well. Jones redshirted in 2012 and played sparingly in 2013. As a redshirt sophomore this season Cardale will have as much experience with Meyer’s playbook as Braxton. That’s something Jones should hang his hat on.

Buckeye Nation will get a good look at Jones soon. With Miller’s rehab underway, Cardale and presumably Barrett will battle it out in the spring game. The performance of either could go a long way in determining who will be the next man up in 2014.

So don’t let 118 characters taint your perception of Jones. Not giving him a second chance would be almost as stupid as the tweet itself.

62 Comments

Comments

ExpatBuckeye's picture

Finally - someone that agrees with me.  I'll support whomever wins the job in practice but, personally, I thought Cardale's H.S. film was more more impressive and he brings two years more experience than J.T.   I hear a lot about J.T.'s intangibles giving him the edge but I don't want to hand him the "heir apparent" title based on intangibles.

+12 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Finally - someone that agrees with me.

Do you read the comments on 11w? There are a few that have said something similar.

I never liked how people completely dismissed CJ and just gave J.T the starting job next year. It reminds me of the RB situation with Elliot.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+3 HS
Chise47's picture

Our comments weren't transferred with site change, or else U & I would be able to re-post plenty on folks being fickle & just passing over this young man.

Too much of 11W's has turned into canabalistic circle jerk followers ready to be negative/cry @ the 1st sign of controversy or any defeat. (See recent comments on Amir Williams.)

I'm pulling for Cardale to light it up, AND Marcelys Jones after all that BS that was posted about him because he didn't do what 'they' thought he should be doing as the 1st commit.

+2 HS
Chris Raiden's picture

Amir Williams is a horrible example. The kid's played significant minutes for two years and hasn't developed a bit. That's not the first sign of controversy or defeat, it's at least the 15th in his case.

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Amir Williams may be a poor example, but the overarching point of his comment about 11W rings true, unfortunately.

45has2's picture

I wish Urb had just a touch of The OBC in him. No QB is sacred with Spurrier, the best man plays until he completely fouls up, then the next man gets his chance. That is some real competition for position. And I'm with you, the vast majority on this site had J.T. anointed as the next starter last year without having a single game snap.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

+1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I like both players but just FYI, Cardale doesn't have two "more" years experience, he practically has a "few" games experience. Cardale is a redshirt sophomore meaning he sat one year and played a little bit last year. JT is a redshirt freshman, meaning he sat last year. Cardale has basically 1 more year of being in the system than JT, but not two more years experience.

Now he does have two more years in the system than Stephen Collier!

I think JT might be the better QB but I think Cardale has the bigger upside and I would love it if he became the next guy!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

ronbizi's picture

Cardale took a grey shirt year.  Then he took a red shirt the next year.  He was technically still a freshman last year after the red shirt.  Now he is a red shirt sophmore.  Therefore, he has been here as long as braxton miller and has two more years of "experience" developing as a college quarterback.  May the best player win.

+5 HS
Zimmy07's picture

I want to see how things go down on April 12th before I form an opinion on who might be the better back up QB.

I do know Jones looked pretty good in mop up duty last year and had somewhere around a 7 yards per carry average when the defense knew we weren't going to be throwing the ball.  That's not exactly an easy thing to do.

+1 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

Very True Expat

Excluding the tweet-which truly has nothing do with his abilities on the football field, the kid can play. I've seen him play several times while he was at Glenville.  The kid is mobile and has a hand cannon for an arm.

I want high character guys on the field and the tweet kind of tarnishes that somewhat but he was given a second chance and his slate is clean so if he is the 2nd string QB so beat, let him ball out

 

Knarcisi's picture

On Saturdays, I'm frankly not worried how well these boys are playing school, so why not?

-1 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Jeff, it is safe to say that, for me, I did not have a tainted perception of cardale, but maybe minimally colored, basically because of the tweet. I agree, it was a rush to judgement, albeit small. This article just put it in perspective. You know, I am not seeing the daily progressions of this QB as a player, kid, growing into a man, and student. All I have are what the media decides to present to the masses. This article was needed because, even though I did not think poorly of Cardale, he was questionable to an extent in my mind. Now, there are not many questions, and I feel like Cardale could be the guy, especially with the good nows about his character, arm strength, size, and how he is adapting to the play book.

A well written article that shines much needed light on a potential stud. Now, only time will tell how everything pans out.

+2 HS
Jeff Beck's picture

Completely agree with you. I was making a few judgements based on the tweet, but I realized how dumb that is. Hope it was an incredible learning experience for Cardale, and nothing more.

opus's picture

Isn't he actually doing well in school anyway? I thought I heard he had something in the realm of a 3.5 GPA.

+1 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

I remember texting his height and weight stats to a buddy of mine right before he committed and asked him if it sounded like someone he could remember.  I'm not trying to be all hipster and say "I was on to Cardale when it wasn't cool"  or anything like that but I was super excited when he became a Buckeye.  I'm glad to see him starting to live up to the billing and turn some heads.  Dude is built like a brick shithouse and can sling it around.   So indeed, Why not?

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+2 HS
M Man's picture

I saw a bit of Cardale live versus FAMU.  I thought he looked solid.  Very poised.  I was really impressed.  He's a big dude.  When was the last time you had a QB that big?  Pryor I guess.  But nobody else, I'd wager.

+5 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Cam Newton....but hey, who's counting?

As for the general theme of the article.....yes, what Jones tweeted was dumb, but it wasn't anywhere near criminal.

I can forgive dumb; I have a much harder time forgiving criminal. 

Time for us all to move on.  

-2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

well actually Cam Newton did not play for OSU. M Man was referring to the last big OSU QB, not nationwide!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+5 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Ha!  Got me there, squirrel.  Serves me right for reading posts in a hurry.

+1 HS
Barnsey69's picture

His tweet definitely paints him as a dumbass, but that was over a year ago, which can be an eternity in terms of development and maturity at his age. Cardale did the unthinkable, and tweeted in a manner that is common among his peers on social media that sounds completely ridiculous to the adult world. However, athletes at high profile schools in the age of instant media "trending" and "viral" downloads, do not get to use the same rules as their less recognizable peers. That being said, I could care less if the dude can spell cat as long as he delivers the goods each Saturday.

And if all that hurts your eyes and ears, how about good ol' fashioned benefit of the doubt?

We could do a lot worse (see Bauserman) than Cardale.

Go Bucks!

 

I am a modern-art masterpiece.

+2 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

Ah bauserman... His arm made him more legendary than C-day's tweet. Every QB thinks they can start at OSU now

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+1 HS
Oyster's picture

2013, played in 3 games.  17 rush, 2 pass attempts.

In those games, he tried too hard to do it with his legs alone.  He went back in the pocket, then took off.  Why wouldn't he try to show that he can pass the ball?

-2 HS
45has2's picture

He got mop up duty only. My money says very few, if any, pass plays were called for him.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

+7 HS
Oyster's picture

That was true during the Tressel days when he would not run up the score.  My hunch is that Meyer would not go that route and would want to see what his players can do in a game environment.  He never has pulled his foot off the accelerator.

-2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

actually by the time Cardale got into the games, and we are talking against FAMU and SDST not Wisky or UM, Cardale was brought in to solely run out the clock by rushing, not passing.

True Urban doesn't take his foot off the peddle, but that is with the starter and main backup, Kenny, not the third string QB in a 50 point blowout late in the 4th. Cardale wasn't asked to pass at all. You can see it in the plays themselves, they were all designed runs. Both passes were late in the Purdue romp of 56-0.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+9 HS
Oyster's picture

not the third string QB in a 50 point blowout late in the 4th. Cardale wasn't asked to pass at all. You can see it in the plays themselves, they were all designed runs. Both passes were late in the Purdue romp of 56-0.

You just contradicted yourself.

-2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

well I accidentally erased a sentence that explained why he would have passed those two times, because both passes were deep in OSU territory and on 3rd and long. So my point still stands that he was asked to rush, not pass, unless it was specific circumstances that dictated the need to throw.

So he was still asked to run out the clock and not use a full array of plays!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+3 HS
Oyster's picture

well I accidentally erased a sentence that explained why he would have passed those two times

Uh Huh... 

-5 HS
GH_Lindsey's picture

he's saying Cardale wasn't asked to pass in the FAMU game, not all games. Passing when up 50 against an FCS team like FAMU is dickish, but Purdue is a Big Ten team (although based on last season, they might belong is FCS), and that whole game was basically a passing clinic for the team, so it's easier to understand why they did it.

+1 HS
Zimmy07's picture

You should go back and look at the play by plays for last year.  There were games where we through maybe 1 or 2 passes in the 2nd half if my memory is correct.

FAMU was one & we still got crap for running up the score.

+2 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

If he gets the mental part of being a QB down and develops a decent pass, he would be a great weapon in the backfield with his size. Glad to here he has adjusted his work ethic and is getting it all going.

+1 HS
BuckWylde's picture

Dude, your first 25 words  sound like a cut & paste from 40 year old Dispatch articles regarding Woody's decision to start Corny Green. Cardale came into the program AS A QUARTERBACK that threw for 22 TDs as a HS senior, which indicates his ability to deliver at least a "decent" pass; and might also explain why he wasn't offered a scolly as a TE or linebacker or ."athlete."                

Man, . . . that goofy tweet of his must have activated some type of HG Wells time machine stuff in people's minds  

BuckWylde

+5 HS
AndyVance's picture

I hear what you're saying, but you're being a little unfair to the previous poster: for those of us who only have game film to evaluate - not practice film nor high school tape - the question of his abilities as a passer is fair game. Clearly with his measurables, he's a huge running threat in the backfield as was Pyror, but given that we've spent every year since Troy (at least it feels that way) talking about a running QB needing to improve his mechanics to get better at passing, what he said was fair. If Jones can sling the rock, he's got the tools to be a helluva QB in this system.

+1 HS
TraptnMI's picture

There are no if's and's or but's about it. Watch the spring game juan more time broseph.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

AndyVance's picture

I generally don't acknowledge anyone who would refer to me as broseph, but let me just say this: I'm one who is firmly in the camp of hoping that Jones is the real deal. I don't follow recruiting religiously as do many of our cohort here, but based purely on his measurables and the few runs he made last year in mop-up duty have me excited to see what he can do.

+1 HS
BuckWylde's picture

Forgive me Andy (and previous poster), but as a sufferer of PTDD (post travesty disgust disorder) I sometimes have flashbacks that will result in my being overcome with irrepressible fits of unbridled truth. I was around in '78 when Woody was forced by Athletic Club types, to move the returning 1977 Orange Bowl MVP to a receiver position (from QB) based on the same very popular A$$umption, that was clearly evident in the "previous post," and quite frankly yours too. Now, I know that Pryor re-established the A$$umption that we all hoped Troy had obliterated (despite TP's 31-4 record as a starter), and Braxton has been hit-or-miss as a passer to say the least; but what in the name of Joe Germaine do these 3 young men share in common aside from playing QB @ TOSU, that has made all of them face pre-trial questioning and/or judgement (of their mechanics & decision making) at the great courtroom of the A$$umption?

 Andy, in the beginning of your response you said that I was being " a little unfair . . ." and at the end you stated that " what HE said WAS fair . . ."  and in light of you being one of my favorite 11W journalists, I guess I'm just left to A$$ume that you're right!        

GO BUCKS!!!  

BuckWylde

-2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Ummm... I'm trying really, really hard not to read into your comments what I think you're implying re: this "assumption." All I was getting at is that we've had a pair of running quarterbacks (Pryor and Miller), or "dual-threat" to use the recruiting lingo, that were frequently criticized for their mechanics. Given that I know nothing about Cardale Jones aside from the snaps I saw him take during the regular season last year, I simply thought that the previous comment was fair: I'd like to see our next quarterback throw as well as he runs. That's all. Personally, I hope Jones is that kid, 'cause he runs like a truck, and if he can sling the rock, too, that's a helluva player to have in the backfield. And for what it's worth, the thing that those three men have in common is that they are three of the all-time greatest quarterbacks in Ohio State history.

BuckWylde's picture

Andy, soon as you figure out what government office you'd like to run for, rest assured that you've got my vote.  . . .  and again,       GO BUCKS & 11W!!!

BuckWylde

+1 HS
buckeyeradar's picture

Clean slate, do over.  Let the players settle it on the practice field.  Next man up, who has impressed the most.  

Buckeye in Texas

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

All I want to know is who is throwing the ball better in spring practice?  I don't want to see us rush for 300 yards in the future and pass for 150.  I'd like to see us throw for 300 and rush for 150.  

bergy22's picture

I'm with you in regards of having a stronger passing game and try not to be so one dimensional especially late in the year. However a team like Auburn who was just as run heavy as we we're make the championship game. So I guess Just Win Baby!

+1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I'm picking up what you're putting down but Auburn was out of the norm this year.  They aren't going to produce like that every year.  We need a solid passing game to go along with our running game. 

+1 HS
ToetotheFace's picture

Out of what norm? Almost Every spread option team that has made a run to the title game or come close has been a running team. 2010 Auburn, 08 Florida, 09 Florida, 07 WVU, 2010 Oregon, 05 Texas, etc. Most with less talent on both offense and defense than the recent pro offense champions have had.  I'll admit that Auburn was on the more extreme side of that group, but the closest Ohio State is going to come to being a passing team under Urban is probably statistics similar to 09 Florida, which still had 13 more running plays per game. I get what you're saying about balancing out the offense to a degree(most passing offense occurred against underwhelming teams therefore skewing the statistics), but If you're expecting an OSU team to be passing more than running, it probably isn't going to happen under Meyer. What OSU really has to strive for is running for those huge totals while passing for that 150 with high efficiency. The run game should set up the passing game.

swainpm's picture

Would you prefer passing to watching an OSU back with 200+ rushing yards? I love a balanced offense personally, but if there is going to be a lack of it at OSU then run baby run and pound it down their throats. Wells, George,, Smith, Byars, Griffin lets add to the legacy.

ToetotheFace's picture

Meyer's teams have always been running teams, with the spread option system you might as well just get used to it. Florida, Texas(to an extent although it was only because of Young), and Auburn all ran spread option during their recent championship seasons. If you want to count those who came close such as Oregon, 07 WVU and 2013 Auburn, the same applies. The only one of those that didn't average more rush yards than passing yards was 06 Florida, and that was due to the fact that it was only Meyer's second season there. They also had the worst offense of all those teams by a wide margin.

Now do I think the offense needs to become more balanced to run Meyer's scheme as well as the 08 Florida team did? Yes, but let us not forget that OSU's defense was absolutely pitiful last season and nobody at WR was very talented. I'd still always rather see them running for 300 yards, because that means the system is playing out the way it is meant to; I would just rather see the efficiency a 08 Florida type team had in the passing game for that 150 yards.

Squirrel Master's picture

I never wrote off Cardale, just thought JT is the real deal. I would love it if Cardale progressed to starter next year.

even still, I would never wish anything on Braxton and can't wait for his play this coming year, but there have been instances where the starter went out and the backup had one of those magical seasons. I can see Cardale having one of those years.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Hovenaut's picture

I've not read (forget that damn Tweet) anything that says Cardale hasn't shown he can be the guy. I thought he moved pretty well the couple occasions I saw him in mop up duty last year.

Of course, I'd love to see J.T. in action as well.

Buckeye Problems.

 

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Patriot4098's picture

Rod Smith and Cardale Jones is an impressive backfield. Just considering size, at least. That's bruising.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

LOL. See, Beth Mowins was actually predicting the future by creating an amalgamation like Bragolina. She knew the future backfield was Rod and Jones.

Rod Jones!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+4 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

The tweet was two sided.... if he wasn't going to class (ala FSU) or if he was taking cupcake courses he would have never had a cause for the tweet. As far as I'm concerned he's manning up and doing something he doesn't want to to get where he wants to go. He could have very easily said "screw it" and left, that says a little something about his character.

 

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

+1 HS
nburns18's picture

We'll find out soon enough during the spring game. But i love Cardale, the kid is huge and he has a strong arm. He can also run pretty well as we've seen in his past game experience. And i can almost guarantee that he'll play this year because Braxton hasnt had a full season since his sophomore season in high school or something crazy like that. He knows he's gonna have to be ready and i think that gives us an advantage. Im sure JT will be on his tails in practice but i see Cardale taking the backup spot and the future in 2015

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

+1 HS
ChazBuckeye's picture

The tweet will all be a part of the past by all I'm sure, IF Cardale can perform on Saturdays.  I'm all good with it if he can put the ball on the money, as it has been stated in practice and then translate that to a game.  If Urban says he's a changed guy, then I suppose it's going to be Cardale at the #2 and possibly beyond.  It's conceivable to have Barrett as the Texas gun-slinging back up.  That's worked out well for OSU in the past.  Not to mention that frame Cardale has as well.  We've all thought about TP in Meyer's offense (even me who's not a big fan of him) and this could very well be that or better with Jones.  If it all comes to fruition.  

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

southbay's picture

There's the "who will win the job" discussion, but here's another possibility to consider.  Say what you will about a two-quarterback system, but Urban Meyer has gone that route before.  And won a championship with it.  I know you all remember.

True, one played more than the other, but they complimented each other very well.  It wasn't like one would play when the other screwed up (which is not a good approach IMO).  

The big guy who took the snaps only in certain situations did pretty well, too.

ToetotheFace's picture

I could see him using Jones in a similar way to Tim Tebow. Obviously Braxton is far too good to not be on the field for 95% of the plays, but Jones could work well as a bulldozer in short yardage situations.

If Barrett proves to be capable enough to be on the field maybe they could do something similar with a more even percentage of usage. It has been done before and can work if neither separates themselves.

rdubs's picture

What's funny about that tweet is that he was in fact "playing school" that semester because he ended up being a B1G scholar athlete which requires a 3.0 or higher.  I realize that the players get a lot of academic support, but they don't all have a 3.0+, so he was doing okay for himself.  He seems to have all of the tools, so I do hope he puts them all together.

+5 HS
bigbill992001's picture

Speaking of TP, I recently went back and watched his bowl/ttun games.    I was never a BIG TP fan, but I gotta tell ya, the kid was pretty awesome most of the time.

southbay's picture

I was a big TP fan, until the tattoo nonsense.  Did he have to leave when he did?

buckeyedude's picture

Why not Cardale?

 

 

+1 HS
TraptnMI's picture

Welcme to the dark side fellas. Cardale and I have been waiting for you! Didn't Mr. Jones pass his calculus course?

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

MAVBuck's picture

I find myself in complete agreement here. I, like every other fan, get excited about the incoming recruits and often forget about the guy who has been on the bench for a couple seasons. While we've never got a good look at Cardales arm he also hasnt looked bad in his limited time on the field either. I cant help but be intrigued by his size and ability to break tackle. With the offense OSU runs and what Urb has been able to do in the past I think this could be a great fit. I think Barrett has A LOT of likable qualities as well but why not give Cardale a shot at this point in his career!

brylee's picture

Thanks for the write up Jeff.  I for one, can't wait to see Cardale at game time...I have been saying that since I saw him come in for mop up duty last year...the kid is going to be tough to bring down.