Plenty of football players who played at prominent NCAA schools have found success in the Canadian Football League, but that’s happened less frequently with the quarterback position. There, many of the players who have done really well over long periods of time have come from smaller schools. The latest case of that is former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones. Jones signed with the Edmonton Elks in May (interestingly enough, after his former Ohio State teammate J.T. Barrett had signed with the same team, but then retired due to injury), but was cut Friday:
#Elks release QB Cardale Jones. Down to 5 QBs left in camp.
— Morley Scott (@Morley_Scott) May 20, 2022
The remaining Elks’ quarterbacks come from Oklahoma State (Taylor Cornelius), Georgia State (Nick Arbuckle), UTEP (Kai Locksley), Idaho (Mike Beaudry), and Waterloo (Tre Ford). That’s one Power 5 FBS school, two Group of Five FBS schools, a FCS school, and a Canadian U SPORTS school. And the projected starters across the league have some similarities, with only two of the nine from P5s (Jeremiah Masoli from Oregon and Ole Miss, Vernon Adams Jr. from Oregon; Zach Collaros played at Cincinnati, which will soon be P5 now, but wasn’t then) from P5 schools. That’s even lower than the three out of eight in 2012.
Coming from a big school certainly isn’t the only factor in if a player will last a long time in the CFL. Of course, players from prominent schools are more likely to wind up in the NFL, and/or other U.S. 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-level play came in the XFL in 2020, so there were already questions about if he’d make the Elks. But it is perhaps somewhat notable to see the trend of smaller-school CFL QBs continue. Whether that’s about those players being more ready to throw out what they know and adapt to the Canadian game, or about the players the CFL is bringing in, it’s interesting to see that it continues to not be mostly ex-P5 QBs in the CFL.