Former Coach Talks About Cardale

The recent rise of Cardale Jones from bench warmer to superstar was one of the feel good stories of Ohio State's national championship run this season. Here is a look at Jones from close friend Tony Overton.

Even though Ted Ginn remains the face of the Cleveland Glenvile program, current Brush offensive coordinator Tony Overton spent many years assisting Ginn with the Tarblooder team.

Overton also took a personal interest in the development of Cardale Jones, both as a player and as a person. The two have known each other since Jones was a child and still remain close today.

"I've known Cardale his whole life. I've known his mother and his uncle for a long time, and we lived on the same street for years," Overton shared. "I thought his decision to return to Ohio State was a great decision for Cardale, because he's now serious about his education. He's always had football as his focus, but now he knows there is life after football."

"He told me he thought if he went to the NFL now that he might not ever get his degree, so I think staying another year is definitely the right move," he added. "To see him with a college degree will mean more to me than seeing him be the overall number-one pick. He wants to pursue the degree first, and I celebrate that decision."

"We all know what we need in life, and it was great to see him express his need to have a college degree to ensure his success down the road with his life," he continued.

His development as a quarterback will also be aided by another year at Ohio State, according to Overton.

"I think he can get a lot better, simply because of more experience," Overton stressed. "There's no substitute for game reps and practice reps, so I know he can improve in a lot of areas. Another year of maturity will be great as well, although we can all see how far he's come in that area."

"Whether as a starter or just playing as a backup, he can get better at reading coverages and making better decisions," he continued. "There will be things he will see and recognize next year, that he didn't see this year because he only played in three games. There will be a lot of great defensive coordinators prepared for him next year, so he will need to be a better quarterback to be ready for all he sees."

Jones needed a year at Fork Union before entering Ohio State, and Overton has seen him make dramatic changes in his life.

"Basically, he's still a fun loving kid, so he's changed but he hasn't changed," Overton said. "It's good that he remembers who he is and where he's come from, but there were things in his life that definitely needed adjusted. He's still that goofy, easy-going guy in a lot of ways, and we love him for that."

"But, he has changed as far as his personal life choices and in how he now views his college education," he insisted. "Just being more serious about the person he needs to be is what impresses me. There's a time to be light and funny, but there also has to be a time to focus on some very serious matters in his life. I see him knowing the difference now."

"He has a child now, and that should change every man," Overton stated. "At that moment, we all should learn that we aren't just living for ourselves anymore, and he gets that. I've seen a change in the past few months, now that he has a daughter. Football used to be the only thing in his life, but now he sees there's more to life than just football. I love him, and I'm proud of him."

Overton is the father of current Kent State receiver Chris Overton, and Brush junior athlete Jordan Overton. He will soon be entering his third season at Lyndhurst Brush.

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