Jake Ballard Announces Retirement from Football

By DJ Byrnes on August 6, 2014 at 2:58p
42 Comments

Happy trails, Jake Ballard.

The former Ohio State tight end turned a 34-catch, 377-yard, three-touchdown career in Columbus into a professional career that culminated in a 2011 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots' death machine.

Unfortunately, Ballard's body never fully got behind the plan to play professional football, and it appears it's finally won its argument.

/salute, Jake. We'll always have that third-down snag in the Rose Bowl.

Comments

Dougger's picture

Best of luck to him beyond football. That third down catch he snagged in the Rose Bowl will be permanently etched in my memory. 

I like football

+8 HS
JoeAndSo's picture

yea, that was a good example of Terrelle Pryor's go to pass.  The "Heave it in the air and lets see who catches it" pass

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯"  - Joey Bosa

-1 HS
Fatpants's picture

If you never got nervous when Pryor threw under duress you weren't paying attention. Gifted runner, but for the love of God stop throwing it up for grabs.

-1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Pretty decent play by Pryor too, IMO, but what a catch. Ballard looked good in the NFL when he got a chance early on, but one injury derailed it all. Sad to see.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+11 HS
CGroverL's picture

Thanks for the vid Mr. JamesRBrown322. These are the things that make 11W as well as Buckeye Nation itself so great....the sadness of his injury to take him from football sucks though. I hated the Giants but I ALWAYS root on my Buckeyes after they have left school. So, when the Giants gave an undrafted Buckeye a chance, I knew he'd be there for a while because Buckeye fans knew how good he was...he was just in an offense that didn't use the TE so much. I just never understood how Ballard wasn't drafted. He had decent hands and great moves for a guy that that weighed in at 270 and at 6'6" probably could have grown bigger if needed. Do you need a TE to weigh more than 270-280 these days? The guy could catch and should have been drafted.

Oh well....good luck to you and your family, Mr. Ballard. Root our Buckeyes on as you are a Buckeye for life and I very much envy you for that.

"I hope they're last in everything"

Thanks, Urb!

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I remember when he first threw that pass, I thought for sure he was about to get picked off and it would probably cost us the game...but big Jake outjumped them all.  Those knees will get you every time, though.  Hopefully he can find success in whatever he does next.

Class of 2010.

+2 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

I can see how people perceive this as a "prayer" type throw but one could also say that he threw it where only Ballard could catch it including the touch he put on it. Better than throwing a line drive, I think Pryor got the result he was going for.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
G_off's picture

"Our man Ballard!"

"You can not use logic" -Gary Danielson of CBSec

+3 HS
OSUStu's picture

That was funny.  He got that catch right on cue as Musburger was talking about him.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+1 HS
geoffrsc's picture

Yes, Dougger, that catch on 3rd and 13 will always be one of my favorite Buckeye moments.

pcg396's picture

Got your ring and some great memories.  Your Rose Bowl catch was the difference-maker.  Best of luck, Jake.

Scottsdale Buckeye

Ahh Saturday's picture

One of my favorite plays since the Championship season.  Two-point lead, third and 13, and Oregon had some momentum.  Pryor is basically chucking up a prayer and Jake Ballard came down with it.  That catch secured the win and helped get that BCS monkey off the back of the Buckeyes. Thanks for the catch, Jake, and best of luck to you in the future.

+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

btw, I love the reverse angle shot of that catch even better, sun setting behind the mountains, an indelible Rose Bowl image.

BierStube's picture

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+7 HS
James Mee's picture

Number 11 looks like he's grabbing Ballard's crotch...Just calling it like I'm seeing it. 

+2 HS
Byaaaahhh's picture

Thought he wrote "Go Ducks!" at first.

+2 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

As someone who had a significant knee injury and whose knee still doesn't feel anywhere close to stable (at the ripe old age of 26), I sympathize. But hey, he's got more Super Bowl rings than Dan Marino...

Does anyone know if BucksFan changed his icon?

+4 HS
741's picture

This photo of Ballard, the Oden dunk in the NCAA tournament, Troy sprinting away from Lamarr Woodley (i.e., my 11W icon), and Eddie George being chased by the entire Notre Dame defense are in my mind all the great iconic images of Ohio State sports in the modern era.

+1 HS
BierStube's picture

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+5 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

He could take a hit like a champ and still hold onto the ball. (Edit, as Bierstube shows, he can also deliver one as well).

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+1 HS
Fatpants's picture

He's doing a lot of celebrating for a guy that just allowed an 8 yard completion.

+7 HS
js2378's picture

Maybe it was 3rd and 9.

+5 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Wonderful.

I just laid out a guy coming across the middle who never saw me.

(Shit. Still caught the pass, though)

Hate Week runneth over

+2 HS
James Mee's picture

You can tell he sorta thinks about it before celebrating and still decides to go ahead and do it. SMH, don't celebrate when they still get the catch. 

+2 HS
GreatLakesBeer's picture

DT's celebrate tackling a RB for a 4 yard gain anymore in the NFL

If you will it dude, it is no dream

BroJim's picture

Beat Up North, won the Big Ten, Got a Rose Bowl win, and a Super Bowl ring. . . That's way more than most. Cheers!

I season my simple food with hunger

+4 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Damn. Good luck to you in the future, Jake. That Rose Bowl catch had me flipping the f*** out. Thing of Beauty.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

James Mee's picture

Sad to hear this news. It's always rough to see a player's career come to an end based on injuries. Good luck to him in his future pursuits. 

Barnsey69's picture

He was/is a freak...never utilized properly while he was at OSU. Glad he had some success in the NFL, and now he is making the smart move, so he'll be able to walk when he is 50.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

Crumb's picture

Sad news but hey he won the B1G championship every year at Ohio State, won the Rose Bowl, won a Super Bowl, all that is a heck of a football career!!!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+1 HS
OSUStu's picture

What?!  He was just interviewed on the Doug Gottlieb radio show on my way home from work yesterday (maybe Monday) talking about how his injury happened but seemed positive about trying to make the Cardinals team.  Did something happen between then and now?

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+1 HS
OSUStu's picture

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Poison nuts's picture

I always rooted for this guy in the NFL & was so bummed when he tore the ACL. I hoped against hope that he'd come back stronger than ever, but it was not to be. Damn.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

HoopHal's picture

I met Jake Ballard on the OSU football cruise and he was one of the nicest,classiest people I have ever come in contact with.Who can ever forget THAT catch in the Rose Bowl. Best of luck to Jake in whatever he chooses to do with his life. I hope he stays around Columbus.

Byaaaahhh's picture

That's just a shame. Had a lot of talent and toughness to go with it. I thought things were turning up after the surgery when he got signed by the Patriots, especially looking at how they used Gronk and Hernandez, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Best of luck to him.

GreatLakesMike's picture

That stinks. Not only was he a good TE at Ohio State, but his pro career appeared ready to take off before the injury. If he wishes, I imagine one of the local tv/radio stations would certainly welcome him on board. 

whiskeyjuice's picture

Good luck Mr. Ballard!!

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

flash77's picture

Could always use a good TE coach

+1 HS