Paul Jones leaves Penn State team for 'personal reasons'

“It was a shock when I heard he wasn’t going to be around any more,” Matt McGloin said of Paul Jones. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Paul Jones, who moved from quarterback to tight end in an attempt to get more playing time, is no longer on the Penn State football team, coach Bill O'Brien confirmed on Wednesday.

O'Brien said Jones, a redshirt sophomore, left for "personal reasons."

Jones had missed practice on Tuesday leading to speculation that he may quit.

Jones was a highly-touted quarterback prospect from McKees Rocks, Pa. He redshirted his freshman year then sat out last season for academic reasons.

Jones fell behind to No. 3 on the depth chart this season - behind senior starter  Matt McGloin and true freshman Steven Bench - and was recently practicing as a tight end.

Jones lost the starting quarterback job in the spring to McGloin. He was listed as even with Bench for the second-string spot at the start of the 2012 season but fell to No. 3.

O’Brien had said Jones told him he wanted to get on the field and contribute in some way, so the coach moved him to tight end. Jones caught his first and only pass on Sept. 15 against Navy. In last week’s game against Temple, he lined up in the backfield and took a handoff, but the play lost seven yards.

Asked about Jones on Wednesday, before O’Brien confirmed his departure, McGloin said, “It was a shock when I heard he wasn’t going to be around any more.

“He’s the type of kid that wants to contribute in any way he can whether it be as a tight end or quarterback. So it was really sad to see him make a decision. But at the same time, he’s got to do what’s best for him. Whether he comes back or decides to leave, I wish him the best of luck.”