Former Notre Dame quarterback Demetrius Jones is no longer a member of the Cincinnati football team. Butch Jones, the coach who replaced Irish head coach Brian Kelly as the man in charge of the Bearcats football team said this today about Jones’ status with the team:
“I would just say that we have certain expectations that we live by,” Jones said. “It starts with academics and going to class. The only thing I’ll say is that he’s made a decision and he’s moving on. I wish him the best in his endeavors.”
Jones’ departure from Cincinnati marks a sad turn in a career that had mighty promise. Headlining the 2006 signing class, Jones joined Zach Frazer as quarterbacks in Charlie Weis’ much heralded recruiting bonanza, taking a leadership role and actively pursuing other blue-chip prospects while saying all the right things about competition and returning Notre Dame to glory.
After redshirting the 2006 season, he opened the 2007 football season as the starting quarterback for the Irish, running a failed attempt at the spread offense against Georgia Tech in the season opener before being benched for freshman Jimmy Clausen the next week. Jones looked like a deer in headlights against Jon Tenuta’s attacking defense, and that was the last time he’d take a snap for the Irish. Jones decided not to board the team bus to Ann Arbor, and was rumored to enroll at Northern Illinois, before transferring to Cincinnati.
Many assumed Jones was the perfect fit for Brian Kelly’s spread attack. But Jones was never able to ascend the quarterback depth chart, and he ended up getting on the field as a linebacker. Jones seemed to embrace the change to linebacker, and Kelly named Jones a starter before the 2009 season, but injuries hampered his production and limited him to 10 games. Heading into the 2010 season, many assumed Jones was poised to take a leading role at linebacker, but this is obviously a turn in the opposite direction.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jones surface at a I-AA school, and see him return to quarterback. This is Demetrius’ last season of college football, and he’s probably never truly given up on the idea of playing quarterback in college. That said, whether you plan to transfer or not, going to class is a big part of being a college football player, and Jones’ behavior when leaving Notre Dame, and now his exile from the Bearcats football program is a disturbing trend. Just another reminder of the hits and misses of college football recruiting.