Although he boasts impressive career statistics, Jones does not have a strong resume for NFL scouts, as he struggled greatly after losing top receiver Ryan Broyles and seemed lethargic and confused at times. If he chose to go pro now, he would be limping into the NFL, wounded by a disappointing performance, rather than being confident about his credentials; one should go out with a bang rather than choose to forgo college simply to profit financially.
Now, Jones has a tremendous opportunity to finish his career on a high note in Norman and potentially immortalize himself as a national champion for the Crimson and Cream. He will undoubtedly be a front-runner candidate for the Heisman Trophy as well, with a legitimate chance to win the coveted award, and the Sooners should enter the 2012 campaign as a serious national title contender.
As the leading passer in OU history, he already has 21 school records and is 3-0 in bowl games with one conference championship and a 30-8 overall record, which will only bolster with another full year as the Sooners' signal-caller.
Additionally, Jones will be surrounded by returning as well as new talent. Besides Ryan Broyles, OU will likely retain all but two starters offensively, and most of the 2011 defensive starters will be there again in 2012.
Also, five-star receiver Trey Metoyer, along with four-star wideouts Durron Neal and Sterling Shepard, will be integrated into OU's high-octane 2012 offense, which will feature returning playmaker Kenny Stills at wideout and running back Dom Whaley, among others.
Jones will be motivated to silence the critics and prove that his struggles this year were an anomaly, establishing himself as an elite quarterback. He certainly has the potential to do that next season with his supporting cast and the lack of another clear power in the Big 12 with Robert Griffin III likely opting for the NFL and Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon moving on.
NFL scouts will laud Jones for his decision; he made the right choice by resisting the incredibly enticing monetary reward and took the high road. His choice will pay off this time next year after he caps off his OU career with an impressive senior season. Then he will look like a surefire NFL draft prospect rather than a shaky one at best.
Hats off to you, Landry Jones, you just made the best choice of your OU career.