Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones told reporters Wednesday he is not transferring and will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
Jones is a 23-year old junior. After helping the Buckeyes win the national championship last season, he consulted the NFL’s underclass advisory committee and eventually held a press conference to announce he would return to school.
He began this season as the starter but was benched in October. He’ll make a unique evaluation for NFL talent evaluators; he’s a backup quarterback who’s at least 6’5 and has never lost a college start but didn’t play well enough this season to keep his starting job.
Jones has thrown for 1,460 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 62.5 percent of his passes in 2015. The Buckeyes close their season Friday in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame.
Ohio State starting quarterback J.T. Barrett is a redshirt sophomore.
Jones won his first three Ohio State starts in last year’s Big Ten Championship Game, Sugar Bowl and National Championship Game. When Jones made his decision to return to Ohio State last January, his high school coach and mentor, Ted Ginn Sr., said he would enter the 2016 draft but Jones never directly addressed it until Wednesday.
Neither Cal’s Jared Goff nor Paxton Lynch of Memphis, generally considered the top underclass quarterback prospects, have announced an NFL decision.