#TBT: Cardale Jones looks back at infamous tweet


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The lesson has long been learned, and the punchlines surely lost their effectiveness well before now.

But even after taking ownership of the highest-profile mistake of his career, Cardale Jones still is bringing up his infamous tweet on his own, offering yet another reminder of how far he's come and how much the Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback has matured since he tweeted about "playing school" as a freshman.

The redshirt junior -- using his new account, of course -- posted a screenshot of his social-media miscue for a "Throwback Thursday" post, following up with a couple of additional messages about the value of learning from mistakes. And considering how close he was at one point to being run out of the program by Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, Jones is more than qualified to offer that perspective given his turnaround from national laughingstock to national champion.

Jones clearly took the experience to heart, though that gaffe and subsequent suspension wasn't the only adversity he faced with the Buckeyes before he was unexpectedly thrust into the lineup after J.T. Barrett's injury in the regular-season finale, just in time for a magical ride through the Big Ten title game and the College Football Playoff that made him a household name for a much more positive reason.

This isn't the first time Jones has opened up about the issue, and he hasn't made any attempts to ignore it or justify it. Jones didn't even feel the need for quite some time to explain the circumstances that prompted the post in the first place, even when he could have potentially defended himself while he was flooded with taunts about his commitment to school.

“I remember I was in class, and I think I got like a B on a [sociology] exam,” Jones said in December. “It was just something so stupid, of course I didn’t feel that way about academics and I don’t. Nobody in this program feels that way, we actually take that stuff very serious around here.

“It was just a dumbass thing to do. I definitely didn’t think that would happen. It was just a stupid thing to do at that time. It was something where I just got pissed because I studied my ass off.”

Jones obviously will never be able to take his original message back. But the older, perhaps wiser version has now co-opted it and turned into something far more positive.