UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Paul Jones' career at Penn State has ended before he threw a pass, made a handoff or took a snap as a quarterback. Coach Bill O'Brien announced Wednesday that Jones, a Sto-Rox High School graduate, was leaving the team for personal reasons.
He came to Penn State as a highly regarded four-star quarterback. Scout.com ranked him as the second-best quarterback in the country. Some expected he would start after throwing two touchdown passes in the 2010 Blue-White game.
Jones redshirted that year, his freshman season and did not play in 2011 because of academic issues. This season, he moved to tight end.
Jones made the switch before the Virginia game. He had been watching tape of a New England Patriots game and joked that he could play the same role as tight end Aaron Hernandez. At a Monday workout before the Virginia game, he practiced as a tight end for the first time. Jones sat out a practice that Tuesday while considering his new role, but he returned that Wednesday. He caught his first and only pass against Navy for 7 yards.
Quarterback Matt McGloin said Jones did not practice Tuesday. Before O'Brien's announcement Wednesday, McGloin expressed positive feelings for a teammate he called his friend. "He's got to do what's best for him," McGloin said.