Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Paul Jones leaves Penn State program
By Adam Rittenberg
Rob Bolden and Paul Jones both arrived at Penn State as heralded quarterback recruits with great expectations. It looks like neither man will fulfill them in State College.
Two months after Bolden bolted State College for LSU, Jones has left the Penn State program for personal reasons, coach Bill O'Brien confirmed Wednesday. O'Brien recently had Jones start practicing more as a reserve tight end, noting that his future at Penn State didn't appear to be at the quarterback position. Although O'Brien kept a package of plays for Jones at quarterback, true freshman Steven Bench passed Jones for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
"Paul and I ... have a really good relationship," O'Brien said two weeks ago. "He's a fantastic kid. He's a guy that really has enjoyed being here. He's turned the corner academically. So he just wants to help the team, and he wants to play. After talking with him a few times, this is something he's all for."
Many Penn State fans clamored for Jones to win the starting quarterback this spring, when he competed alongside Bolden and Matt McGloin. O'Brien eventually went with McGloin, a decision that has worked out well so far. Academics had kept Jones sidelined the past two seasons, when McGloin and Bolden shared quarterback duties. Although Jones clearly has talent, he didn't seem to grasp O'Brien's system as fast as many had hoped.
Jones is the latest player to depart Penn State's program, as receiver Shawney Kersey also left recently for personal reasons. Jones had one reception and one rushing attempt this season.