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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Once burned on Twitter, Cardale Jones certainly isn't shy.
The quarterback who came out of nowhere to lead Ohio State to the national championship in January has had a busy 24 hours posting tweets.
First he cheered on his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA playoffs Wednesday night. During a timeout, he and several Ohio State teammates were introduced at Quicken Loans Arena and Jones told the crowd that he wanted LeBron James and his teammates to bring "another championship to Ohio."
While Jones was speaking on the arena microphone, Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah reportedly could be seen saying, "You ain't in the SEC."
Uh, those are fighting words for the Buckeyes, who have heard a lot of putdowns over the years because they play in the Big Ten, which at least before the Buckeyes' title run was often perceived to be inferior to the Southeastern Conference with Alabama, Auburn, Florida and others.
Noah, by the way, went to Florida.
Told of the insult, Jones tweeted that Noah should "watch yo mouth before I give you these hands chump."
He also vowed that he would be at Noah's "neck the rest of the series for that comment."
One of Jones' Ohio State teammates even posted a humorous "tale of the tape" comparing Noah and Jones as boxing adversaries, along the lines of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao or any prizefight, including a doctored photo of Jones wearing boxing gloves.
Noah, however, insisted he had no idea who Jones was until Thursday morning, when he heard about the Tweets. And when asked if he made a comment about not being in the SEC, Noah responded, "I didn't know who he was. I wish him nothing but the best."
Noah also sidestepped a question about getting spit on by a fan as he left the court after the game. A video showed him pushing a spectator in the arm on the way into the tunnel. But it was not clear if the man spit on Noah.
"I was just saying hello," Noah said.
On Thursday, Jones tweeted his disappointment that the Cleveland Indians have not asked him to throw out a first pitch, as Buckeyes tailback Ezekiel Elliott recently did at a game for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals and coach Urban Meyer, a Cincinnati native, did at a Reds home game.
"I'm just saying @Indians @EzekielElliott thinks his hometown loves him more than my hometown loves me because he throw out the first pitch," Jones tweeted.
The Indians quickly replied, "Let's make it happen!"
So now it appears the senior-to-be will get his wish to take the mound for his favorite team.
The funny part is that Jones' college career was almost nipped in the bud because of an unthinking tweet 2 1/2 years ago. While biding his time as a substitute who almost never got into a game, he posted a note on his Twitter account in October 2012 which said: "Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS"
He was suspended by Meyer for that diatribe and was forced to apologize.
But after Braxton Miller was sidelined all last year after shoulder surgery and J.T. Barrett led the Buckeyes to an 11-1 season before breaking his ankle, Jones stepped in and played brilliantly. He guided the Buckeyes to victories in the Big Ten title game, a national semifinal victory over Alabama and the 42-20 rout of Oregon in the championship game.
His success — along with a bombastic, playful, smiling demeanor he displays with coaches, teammates and reporters — has all but erased any residual effects of that tweet.
Jones has more than 170,000 followers on Twitter — stunning for a player with a grand total of three collegiate starts.
And that number is growing despite no guarantee he'll start for the Buckeyes this coming season.
Jones figures to be in a heated battle with Miller and Barrett for the No. 1 job as Ohio State begins its title defense when fall camp opens in August.
AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed to this report.
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP
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