2021 Big Ten Returner of the Year Charlie Jones Enters Transfer Portal
The native of Deerfield, Illinois racked up 635 yards and a touchdown on kickoff returns and averaged nearly nine yards a return in the punt game last season en route to winning the award. He also caught 21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns last season.
This is what Kirk Ferentz told HawkeyeInsider last season in regards to Jones' play:
I just feel really good with him back there fielding, good judgment, good ball skills, and what he showed today I think was really what some of our guys, offensive guys especially thought, and we don't practice punt returns a lot, we just don't do that, or kick returns. I still go back to the '80s seeing Quinn Early get his shoulder knocked out. I'll never forget that, on a kickoff coverage in a scrimmage, so we just don't do that, and to watch the way he's performed three weeks now, it's really great.
Prior to arriving at Iowa, Jones played his collegiate football at the University of Buffalo. He caught 18 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns in 2018. He then walked on for the Hawkeyes, deciding to go a bit closer to home. He eventually earned a scholarship and plenty of time on the field in Iowa City.
Nico Ragaini and Jones were set to be the only returning seniors in the wide receiver room for Iowa this fall. Spencer Petras and/or Alex Padilla will have to look elsewhere for the production the speedy wide receiver was expected to bring the Hawks in 2022.
Other wide receivers that have played significant time on the roster include Keagan Johnson (sophomore) and Arland Bruce IV (sophomore). Tight end Sam LaPorta led the team in receptions (53), receiving yards (670), and tied for most receiving touchdowns (three) with Jones last season.
Iowa also lost wide receiver Tyrone Tracy Jr. to the transfer portal in December when he chose to play for Big Ten rival Purdue.