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Penn State Football: Paul Jones Leaves Team for Personal Reasons

by on September 26, 2012 9:51 AM

Updated at 5:41 p.m.

Paul Jones has left the team for personal reasons, coach Bill O'Brien said just before the start of Wednesday's practice.

The highly touted quarterback recruit recently switched to tight end as a means of getting playing time after falling behind freshman Steven Bench for the No. 2 quarterback job.

If Jones remains enrolled at Penn State, he can remain on scholarship until he graduates.

"Just want to say thank you to everyone that has reached out to me offering their support," tweeted Jones, who had one catch and one rushing attempt this season. "I really appreciate it."

The departure of Jones continues a run of highly recruited quarterback prospects that have transferred out of the program (Pat Devlin, 2009), (Kevin Newsome, 2010), (Rob Bolden, 2012). 

Jones redshirted his freshman season and sat out the 2011 season because he was academically ineligible. He finished spring practice as the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt McGloin but still forged a special relationship with O'Brien.

Earlier at 9:51 a.m.

Penn State tight end Paul Jones is currently not with the team after an offensive game plan package that included the former quarterback was removed this week, a program source said Wednesday morning.

This was at least the second time Jones questioned his role on the team. He said following the 34-7 victory against Navy that he wasn't initially sold on the position switch to tight end. But after seeing the big picture, Jones changed his mind and stuck with it.

This time . . .

"I don't think he's coming back, but who knows?" a source said.

His father, Paul Jones Sr., declined to comment, and his high school coach, Jason Ruscitto, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Per usual Wednesday, Penn State is opening up a small portion of its practice to the media.

Is Paul Jones going to be there?

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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