Sources: Iowa grad transfer return man will commit to Purdue
Purdue will bolster its return game with a commitment from Iowa's Charlie Jones, GoldandBlack.com has confirmed.
Jones will join the Boilermakers as a grad transfer with one year of eligibility, having spent the last three seasons with the Hawkeyes. A sixth-year player, Jones will fill Purdue's dire need for a viable return man.
Jones was the Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year in 2021 after running back 25 kickoffs for a 25.4-yard average and a touchdown, and 37 punts for a 7.7-yard average. He returned a punt for a TD in 2020. Jones became the third Hawkeye ever to return a punt and kickoff for scores.
The return game has been largely listless for years at Purdue. The Boilers were last in the Big Ten in kickoff returns (12.4 ypr) and 11th in punt returns (6.2 ypr) in 2021. Purdue last ran back a punt for a TD in 2009 (Aaron Valentin). The last kickoff return for a touchdown? That was in 2013 (Akeem Hunt).
Jones, a product of Deerfield (Ill.) High in the Class of 2017, played in 22 games with 10 starts for the Hawkeyes, whom he joined as a walk-on in 2019 before earning a scholarship in December 2020. He left Iowa City having made 21 receptions for 323 yards and three TDs--all in 2021.
The 6-0, 188-pound Jones played his first two seasons at Buffalo, taking part in 14 games with a start and making 18 catches for 395 yards and three scores.
Jones will be the third transfer receiver Purdue has added this offseason--and second from Iowa--joining fellow Hawkeye Tyrone Tracy and Elijah Canion (Auburn).
Jones will be a member of a deep collection of Boilermaker wideouts that is looking to replace David Bell, who left a year early for the NFL and was a third-round pick of the Browns, and Milton Wright, an academic casualty. Jackson Anthrop also has departed.
Purdue will build its receiving unit around Tracy, Broc Thompson, Mershawn Rice, T.J. Sheffield and Abdur-Rahmaan Yassen. Collin Sullivan could play a role, too, along with redshirt freshmen Deion Burks and Preston Terrell.
Jones will be the 10th transfer Jeff Brohm has landed since the end of the 2021 season, joining LEO Scotty Humpich (Murray State), defensive tackle Cole Brevard (Penn State), cornerbacks Reese Taylor (Indiana), Tee Denson (Kansas State) and Bryce Hampton (Adams State), offensive linemen Sione Finau (Florida International) and Daniel Johnson (Kent State) and fellow wideouts Tracy and Canion.
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