From Nick Bosa committing, to Cardale Jones’ Twitter war, to Braxton Miller announcing he will move from quarterback to wide receiver, it was quite a week for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
“For them to get Nick Bosa . . . people say he’s better than Joey Bosa and Joey Bosa might be the No. 1 pick in the draft next year,” Northeast Ohio Media Group Ohio State writer Doug Lesmerises said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “That was a huge get for them.”
Then there’s Jones, who traded barbs on Twitter with fans who were bothered by his social and political commentary, particularly as it relates to Sandra Bland. Jones has more than 225,000 followers on Twitter.
“Cardale Jones is a guy who is living in a bonus world,” Lesmerises said. “He is a living in extra innings. He just thought he was going to be a backup here. Instead, he gets a chance because of injury, wins a national title and he is soaking in it, man. He is a social-media star. He always has something to say on Twitter. A lot of it’s funny, some of it can be very insightful sometimes. But he is seizing the moment and I can appreciate that – a guy who never thought he’d be here enjoying every minute of it.”
Miller, meanwhile, will move to wide receiver and H-Back after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury. He was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, but he will not be able to fully throw until four weeks into the season. Thus, Miller’s shoulder – not his ability – made this decision for him.
But with Miller lining up with Jalin Marshall, Michael Thomas and Dontre Wilson – and with Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett i the backfield – the possibilities are endless for Ohio State.
“Their offense is just – it’s kind of crazy to think about the kind of the guys they can put on the filed together,” Lesmerises said.
But with Miller seemingly out of the fold, who will the Buckeyes choose as their starting quarterback?
“I think J.T. Barrett is better, and I think J.T. Barrett will win it,” Lesmerises. “I don’t think it’s a sure thing. Really, if you want to break down Cardale Jones’ games and his stats and the throws he made, he threw some deep balls to probably the best deep-ball receiver in college football last year in Devin Smith, who was a second-round pick by the New York Jets. He did everything you want a backup quarterback to do. But J.T. Barrett has the intangibles. He has the leadership. They were talking about his leadership skills when he was still a recruit. He was everything Urban Meyer would want. They went down to Texas and got him as a recruit. That’s the guy they picked. He was the first quarterback recruited to Ohio State under Urban Meyer. He’s their guy. Cardale Jones was recruited by Jim Tressel to come here. He was sort of here when Urban Meyer got here. They inherited Cardale Jones. So they didn’t know as much about Cardale Jones. I think they were even a little surprised with how well he played last year.
“Some of the things we see on social media, he’s fun, he’s interesting, he’s not afraid to say what he thinks,” Lesmerises continued. “That’s great, but it’s not maybe exactly what you want from your quarterback. J.T. Barrett is a much more laid back, humble, low-key kind of guy while at the same time being a team leader. I think in an even competition, my bet is that J.T. Barrett does win that – just like he won it last year over Cardale Jones. I don’t think it’s a sure thing, but that’s my bet right now.”
Whatever happens, you’ve got to hand it to Meyer, who inherited a 6-7 team and has gone 38-3 in three seasons in Columbus.
“I thought Ohio State was going to be under a dark cloud potentially for a couple of years coming off those NCAA sanctions,” Lesmerises said. “Instead, they bounce back, they go undefeated in 2012, they win the national title last year and they absolutely have their best players back to make another run this year. You can’t take that for granted. That’s hard to do and they’ve done it.”