CFL Elks knock out Ohio State quarterback

Many football players who played at top NCAA schools have found success in the Canadian Football League, but this has happened less frequently with the quarterback position. There, a lot of players who have been very successful over long periods come from small schools. The latest case is former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones. Jones signed with the Edmonton Elks in May (interestingly, after his former Ohio State teammate JT Barrett signed with the same team, but then retired due to injury), but was cut on Friday:

the remaining Elks quarterbacks come from Oklahoma State (Taylor Cornelius), Georgia State (Nick Arbuckle), UTEP (Kai Locksley), Idaho (Mike Beaudry) and Waterloo (Tre Ford). They are one FBS Power 5 school, two Five Eyes FBS schools, one FCS school and one Canadian U SPORTS school. And the starters projected across the league have some similarities, with only two of the nine P5s (Oregon’s Jeremiah Masoli and Ole Miss, Oregon’s Vernon Adams Jr.; Zach Collaros played in Cincinnati, soon to be P5 now, but wasn’t then) P5 schools. It’s even lower than the three out of eight in 2012.

Coming from a big school is certainly not the only determining factor if a player will last long in the CFL. Of course, players from top schools are more likely to end up in the NFL and/or other American leagues, and so they’re often older (Jones is 29) by the time they reach the CFL. And in Jones’ particular case, his last high-profile game came in the XFL in 2020, so there were already questions about whether he would make the Elks. But it is perhaps somewhat remarkable to see the trend of CFL QBs in smaller schools continuing. Whether it’s those players who are more ready to throw away what they know and adapt to the Canadian game, or the players that the CFL brings in, it’s interesting to see that it’s not still not primarily former P5 QBs in the CFL.

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