Redshirt senior wide receiver Charlie Jones enters 2022 as one of the most accomplished players on the team. A first-team All-Big Ten return specialist, Jones is one of the best in the country at returning punts and kicks. He earned the Big Ten’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year award.
In his Hawkeye career, the transfer from Buffalo has returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown. The 6-foot, 188 pound return specialist delivered a 54-yard punt return touchdown against Michigan State in 2020 and last year registered a 100-yard kickoff return to the house against Illinois. Every Hawkeye fan knows what Jones brings to the table as a return specialist, but can he take his game as a receiver to another level in 2022?
One of the points for Iowa this past season was getting Jones more involved outside of special teams. He played offense very sparingly in 2020, but showed the same big-play potential this past season that he showed at Buffalo prior to his 2019 transfer.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jones saw 378 snaps at wide receiver and 89 more in the slot in 2021. He averaged a hair over 15 yards a catch and scored three times, all despite only finishing the season with 21 catches. He returned in 2022 for his last year of eligibility and hopefully can create a potent duo with Keagan Johnson that reinvigorates Iowa’s passing attack.
Preseason Player Profile
Hometown: Deerfield, Ill.
Class in 2022: Redshirt senior
247Sports composite ranking
2017 two star / No. 442 wide receiver / No. 86 player in Illinois
Depth Chart Overview
Jones is currently listed as Iowa’s No. 2 wide receiver behind Nico Ragaini opposite of Keagan Johnson. Jones will look to prove himself as one of the Hawkeyes’ dynamic secondary threats to Johnson and Ragaini in the wide receiver corps.
Ideally, that trio injects some life into the Hawkeyes’ offense and help stretch the field to more than short-yardage passes. LaPorta will still be the featured weapon but now aided with more of a threat down the field from Johnson, Ragaini and Jones. Naturally, he will once again field punts and kicks after being named a first-team All-Big Ten return specialist by both the league’s coaches and media last season.
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