As originally reported by Ohio State beat writer Tim Shoemaker, Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones will skip his senior year and enter the NFL draft.
Jones’ three years at Ohio State certainly constitute one of the most unique and unpredictable career paths from any high-profile prospect in recent memory. After receiving limited playing time in his freshman season (2013) and early in his sophomore season (2014), Jones was promoted to starting quarterback due to injury for the Big Ten Championship against the University of Wisconsin, which Ohio State would win resoundingly, 56-0. Jones was then the starting quarterback for Ohio State’s two victories in the inaugural College Football Playoff, defeating the University of Alabama and then the University of Oregon to secure the National Championship.
This season, Jones split quarterbacking duties with sophomore J.T. Barrett, who had finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2014, his freshman year. In 2015, Jones attempted 175 passes while Barrett attempted 116. Barrett, however, was a significantly larger part of Ohio State’s rushing attack: he averaged 6.4 yards on 92 carries, while Jones averaged just 3.0 yards on 64 carries.
Ohio State finished 11-1 this season and will play Notre Dame (10-2) in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day. CBS Sports projects that Jones will be a second- or third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.