Kirk Herbstreit weighs in on Cardale Jones' future in Columbus
Nobody knows what Cardale Jones’ future will hold.
Will he ever start a game at Ohio State again? Will he handle the backup role in the same fashion J.T. Barrett did? Will this be Jones’ last year in Columbus?
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit was asked about Jones’ unique situation on “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”
“If J.T. Barrett finishes this year the way that a lot of people think that he could, which is winning a lot of games and potentially going into a B1G Championship game and maybe even a final four and beyond, you’re right. It’s hard to imagine him as a sophomore…two things. He’s not going to lose his job next year. If you look at his skill set, he’s not going to leave early. You’re looking at Ohio State’s starting quarterback not only this year but the year after and the year after that.
“If you’re Cardale Jones, you’ve got to take that into consideration. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see him consider leaving after this year and trying to get ready for the NFL.”
The biggest potential issue with Jones, Herbstreit said, would be the small sample size. Everybody remembers his three-game run to lead the Buckeyes to a title in the first ever College Football Playoff.
But beyond that, all NFL scouts have to look at are pieces of seven regular season games in a system he probably wouldn’t run at the next level.
“There will not be a lot of video to break down and evaluate,” Herbstreit said of Jones. “The biggest thing to me is accuracy and decision-making when it comes to any quarterback. You’re not going to have a lot to go by other than those three games.”
Jones has shown up on big boards as a potential late first-round pick, though many would argue that his individual workouts will be the true barometer for his draft prospects. Still, Herbstreit added, it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ll have to wait until the offseason to see what Jones can do.
Herbstreit called Saturday night’s game against Rutgers, which was J.T. Barrett’s first start of 2015. Urban Meyer told Herbstreit before the game that he only planned on running Barrett 8-10 times. He hit that mark by halftime.
Barrett suffered a serious injury before and with his increased workload carrying the ball, he isn’t immune to it happening again.
“There were a couple of times where J.T. ran the ball and you cringe wondering whether or not he’ll get up,” Herbstreit said. “If you’re Cardale Jones, you realize that you have an athletic quarterback in front of you, a guy that’s not afraid to run it. Despite the leg injury that he had last November, he’s running around out there.
“You’ve got to have your mindset ready to go.”