Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said he "didn't even think twice" about the possibility of quarterback Cardale Jones leaving for the NFL.
Appearing on Fox Sports' "The Audible" podcast, Meyer said he thought the notion that Jones might leave OSU after only two seasons was largely a media creation.
Jones began this 2014 as the third-strong quarterback for the eventual College Football Playoff champion Buckeyes, but was forced into starting the last three games after injuries to Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. His first start was in Ohio State's 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, followed by a 42-35 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and then the 42-20 win over Oregon in the Playoff championship.
"Someone [asks] me, 'Is Cardale staying or going?' And I thought, 'Where are you going?' I didn't even think twice about NFL because he's only played three games," Meyer said, adding that he then changed his plans that day and flew to Cleveland that day to talk to Jones and his high school coach, Tedd Ginn Sr.
"[Jones] decided right away, that was all him. He said, 'I'm not ready and I want to get my degree.' And so I think the media and everybody made a huge deal out of it. He might've talked a little bit on his own to some other people, but there was zero conversation with me.
Ohio State is expected to bring back all three quarterbacks for next season. Miller, a senior, entered last season as a preseason Heisman Trophy contender before injuring his shoulder in August. Barrett, a freshman, played in 12 games before fracturing his leg in the regular-season finale against Michigan.
- Mike Fiammetta