Iowa football wide receiver Charlie Jones will return in 2022. What impact can he make next season?
Iowa's football team received some good news on Thursday when wide receiver Charlie Jones announced that he'll return for a sixth college season in 2022. Jones will take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to all student-athletes due to COVID's impact on the 2020 season.
Jones joined Iowa in 2019 as a transfer from Buffalo and immediately became an impact player. He made his mark early as a return specialist and earned first team All-Big Ten honors in 2020. This year he began to make his mark at the receiver position.
The Deerfield, Illinois, native recorded 21 catches for 323 yards and tied for a team-best three touchdowns in 2021. He also held onto his spot as the conference's best returner, winning the Big Ten returner of the year.
Toward the end of the regular season, Jones expressed that a big factor in his decision would be gaining more film at receiver to pursue his NFL dream. His return in 2022 will help accomplish that.
What does Charlie Jones' return mean for Iowa WRs?
Jones proved to be a reliable target last season and is expected to take another step forward in year two as a key rotation player. His announcement is especially timely because Iowa's receiving room lost several players over the past year. Three receivers entered the transfer portal during the season, Desmond Hutson, Quavon Matthews and Tyrone Tracy Jr., leaving the team with just six scholarship receivers for spring practice.
But the six they have are talented. True freshmen Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV emerged this year as primary playmaking options and, with Jones, they create an explosive trio heading into next year. Iowa also has multi-year starter Nico Ragaini, who's been a consistent leader and versatile option for Iowa quarterbacks. True freshman Brody Brecht, a two-sport star (baseball), and redshirt freshman Diante Vines have yet to see the field but with the low numbers figure to be in the mix for snaps this spring.
Iowa will also welcome three-star receiver Jacob Bostick next year. Right now he's the lone receiver commit in the 2022 class.
Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.