Ohio State Preparing For National Championship With 3rd-String QB
Ohio State plays Oregon for the college football national championship tonight. OSUs surprising run to the title game is even more stunning because of its quarterback. Cardale Jones began the year as the teams 3rd-string quarterback. It's safe to say OSU head coach Urban Meyer did not have a high opinion of Jones when Meyer took over. Meyer did not recruit Jones. Meyer was unhappy with his academic performance. Jones needed to turn things around in a big way, just to stay on the team.
Jones was the third-string quarterback heading into the season. He was behind 2-time Big ten offensive player of the year, Braxton Miller. Behind Braxton Miller was a freshman, JT Barrett. Then, after Barrett, was Cardale Jones.
So who is Cardale Jones?
He could have been a statistic," Meyer said of his quarterback.
Meaning that he could have been just another Buckeye to come through Columbus, and not make an impact.
Meyer didnt want him on the team. Meyer said all along that he had to improve to earn his spot on the 85-man roster. Meyer said that he had an incredible group of mentors along the way that have pushed him to where he needs to be as a football player and as a man.
"There couldve been a big asterisk next to his name," Meyer said during a press conference. "Whatever happened to so and so, because he was given the wrong information, the wrong guidance. instead they looked and said what do we need to do coach, and i said this is it, or its over, and they said its done."
But Meyer noticed an improvement in Cardale Jones early in 2014. During spring practice, Meyer praised him for improving academically, but he still ended up 3rd on the QB depth chart.
Cardale, you talk about a changed guy," Meyer said in March of 2014. "He was a guy who couldnt get out of his own way a couple years ago, and now hes making progress in the classroom you remember the famous tweet or whatever. Its a different guy. He had to be a different guy or he wouldnt be here.
That famous tweet Meyer was referring to? In October of 2012, Jones tweeted this:
Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play football? We aint come to play school. Classes are pointless.
Cardale was asked if this tweet was a lowpoint, or a turning point in his career at Ohio State.
And yeah, that was probably the lowest point of my career," Jones said. "And yeah he was like dude, that was the dumbest thing I have ever seen.
Cardale went from the dumbest thing Urban Meyer had ever seen to a Sugar Bowl winning quarterback.
Cardale Jones is from Cleveland, Ohio, and went to Glenville High School The same school that has produced several Buckeye greats, such as Donte Whitner, Ted Ginn Jr, and heisman trophy winner Troy Smith.
But now Cardale is trying to do something none of those 3 greats have ever done.
Win a National Championship. And its not going to come easy.
Hes got a Big Ten Championship win under his belt, the most convincing conference championship win in college football history, Hes got a sugar Bowl win under his belt, against arguably the best defense college football has seen. Cardale Jones, SAYS hes ready for the next step.
Its exciting, because like you said were chasing the ultimate goal, thats always been our goal since about midseason, we knew we could do something special. So its very exciting, its emotional, not just for me, but for my teammates as well.
Hes not the quarterback they wanted, hes the quarterback out of necessity. But hes turned into the quarterback that might be able to deliver Ohio State a National Championship.