Charlie Jones

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Outside of returning punts, Iowa wide receiver Charlie Jones didn’t have the ball in his hands much last season, registering just 38 yards of total offense on two rush attempts and zero receptions.

While he didn’t play much on offense, he still showcased his speed on a few separate occasions in 2020. On Nov. 7, Jones returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown in a 49-7 Iowa route of Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeye faithful should expect to see Jones more often in 2021.

With both of Iowa’s top two 2020 receiving options (Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith) now pursuing NFL careers, there will be more opportunities for Jones to play wide receiver with the Hawkeyes’ offense.

Jones, who offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz called a versatile weapon with dynamic speed, is listed behind Nico Ragaini at one of the receiver spots on Iowa’s depth chart.

Ferentz told The Daily Iowan that Jones, a preseason first-team All-Big Ten return specialist, is preparing to play multiple receiver positions this season both in the slot and on the perimeter. Ferentz also noted that Jones will continue to be Iowa’s primary return man in 2021.

Jones transferred from Buffalo to Iowa as a sophomore — in his only season with the Bulls in 2018 — he reeled in 18 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns.

With Jones’ dynamic speed, the more times he has the ball in his hands, the better. Watch out for this speed demon on offense and special teams. He’s a matchup nightmare for opposing defenders.

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