Saturday, August 29, 2015

Penn State's Paul Jones as tight end experiment begins

In Saturday's 34-7 win against Navy, Jones -- a redshirt sophomore who came out of spring practice as Penn State's No. 2 quarterback -- made his debut at tight end.

Penn State's Paul Jones as tight end experiment begins


How exactly did the Paul Jones tight end experiment begin? According to Jones, it started as a joke.

"We were watching the Patriots film, and Aaron Hernandez caught a lot of balls," Jones recalled. "And I said, 'Coach, that was me,' kind of joking around."

Coach Bill O'Brien didn't see it as a joke. He and Jones talked about the possibility and said Jones should try it out.

In Saturday's 34-7 win against Navy, Jones -- a redshirt sophomore who came out of spring practice as Penn State's No. 2 quarterback -- made his debut at tight end.

Jones received limited playing time, but caught the only ball thrown to him. It was a seven yard catch.

It was the first time Jones has ever appeared in a game. He redshirted his freshman year then sat out last season to focus on academics.

"I was glad to see him catch that ball," O'Brien said. "It was a good start for him and he also had a couple blocks in there which was good to see. We have to keep building that package with him."

Jones has been working at the new position for two weeks. He is still taking practice snaps at quarterback, but with Matt McGloin secured as the starter, having Jones as a tight end allows O'Brien to get his most athletic players on the field.

Jones -- who passed for 5,667 yards and 60 touchdowns in high school -- is 6-foot-3, 258-pounds, and according to McGloin has great hands.

"Paul had a great week at practice," McGloin said. "He has great hands and a lot of ability. So hopefully he can catch more balls in the games so we can see what he can do." 

O'Brien said he would like to get Jones more involved in the Temple game. Jones doesn't mind -- though he might have been against the idea two weeks ago.

After he and O'Brien had their chat, Jones was apprehensive.

"I kind of didn't want to for like an hour," Jones said. "And then we talked and I was like alright, I'll just do it."

-Emily Kaplan

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter