Cardale And Bosa On The Diamond?

Before they were gridiron stars, Cardale Jones and Joey Bosa got their starts on the baseball diamond.

So, what would your reaction be if I told you Joey Bosa – all 6-6, 275 pounds of him – grew up a baseball catcher?

Would it be something like this?

That’s exactly the reaction Cardale Jones had at Sugar Bowl media when I told him Bosa actually playing baseball as a youngster, donning the so-called tools of ignorance behind the plate.

That was in response to Jones informing the media that he first played baseball as well growing up, only stopping after Ted Ginn Sr. told him to get under center.

Yes, that’s right – two of the Buckeyes’ biggest stars (both literally and figuratively) both started on the baseball diamond, kinda like former minor leaguer Urban Meyer.

I don’t know what prompted me to think of this. Maybe it’s because baseball is now in full swing, or because both Jones and Bosa have been in the news recently for May Fools jokes or their potential NFL draft status, respectively.

But I was just reminded of the fact that at the Sugar Bowl, each of the two Buckeye stars said they got their starts on the diamond, not the gridiron.

It might be hard to think of the massive Buckeyes – Jones now checks in at 6-5, 250 – as baseball players, especially when it comes to the fearsome defensive end Bosa behind the plate.

That’s where he started, though, he told reporters in New Orleans.

“Growing up in sports, I was always the baseball guy,” he said. “I was a catcher. I loved it.”

So how did the unanimous All-America defensive end decide to progress in football rather than baseball? Two reasons, he said.

“I was on such a horrible team my seventh grade year that I played tennis just so I wouldn’t have to play baseball because I hated my team so much,” he said.

Of course, it also helped that as he blossomed at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas high school outside of Miami that he grew into a fantastic combination of size and speed that was so notable he got an offer from Nick Saban when he was 15 years old.

“My sophomore year I decided that (football was) getting pretty serious, especially when Alabama offered me, and then I really started pursuing it,” the son of a former NFL player said.

As for Jones, he said he grew up on the mound, still making use out of what would become a million-dollar right arm. That all changed when Ginn spotted him one day.

“Coach Ginn was like, ‘Come here, come here, throw the football,’ ” he said. “I didn’t play quarterback. I was in the sixth or seventh grade at the time. He was like, ‘Throw the ball, throw the ball.’ He saw something in me I didn’t see in myself at a young age.”

The last time he seriously played baseball, he was in eighth grade, but he clearly had skills.

“I was throwing like 79 mph curveballs,” he said. “I thought baseball was going to be it for me, but football came out of nowhere.”

Ohio State fans are glad for that, but maybe in a different world, Bosa and Jones could have followed Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Jameis Winston – not to mention football-turned-baseball stars Adam Dunn, Todd Helton and Joe Mauer – on the diamond.


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