(WIVB) — Charlie Jones could get a chance to return to where it all began for him.
Jones, a native of Deerfield, Ill. began his collegiate career at Buffalo in 2018 as a key freshman wide receiver for the Bulls, catching 18 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns, while helping the squad to a program-record 10 wins, an appearance in the MAC championship and just the third bowl game in program history.
Jones, who was not highly recruited coming out of high school, could have stayed put, but he decided to pursue other opportunities. That brought him to Iowa, where he spent two seasons.
He exploded onto the scene after a transfer to Purdue before the 2022 season. Jones led the nation with 110 receptions, racking up 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns, while helping lead the Boilermakers to the Big Ten title game.
“I’ve got a pretty unique story. I think it shows that I’m resilient, I’m willing to work. I didn’t come out of high school super highly recruited and I wasn’t when I was leaving Buffalo,” Jones said. “None of that stuff matters to me, I’m going to put my head down and go to work.”
While breaking out as a Boilermaker, he established himself as a legitimate NFL prospect, now as a projected fourth or fifth round pick.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s a goal of mine that I had for a long time. It’s a goal of mine that I specifically had when I was leaving Iowa. I don’t think many other people expected that but it’s something that I believed I was capable of doing,” Jones said.
Jones studies the film of Los Angeles Rams star Cooper Kupp as well as former UB teammate K.J. Osborn, who is now with the Minnesota Vikings.
“I played with K.J. Osborn for a long time and been watching him for a long time and that’s someone I kind of look up to someone that works hard and someone that’s made a similar journey as I have and is playing and competing at the highest level,” Jones said.
Now, he might have a chance to play against him and return to the city that began his college career.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.
Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more here.