Penn State fans know the names: Devlin, Newsome and Bolden. Three recent top quarterback recruits who never lived up to expectations and ended up leaving. Paul Jones can now be added to that list. According to StateCollege.com, Jones left the Penn State football team on Wednesday for personal reasons.
Jones started the year as the backup quarterback to Matt McGloin, but was recently switched to tight end in an effort to get him on the field more.
The Pennsylvania native was a 4-star recruit and ranked by Rivals.com as the eighth overall quarterback when he entered Penn State in 2010. After redshirting, he was expected to compete for the starting job in 2011. Unfortunately, Jones had to miss the entire season due to academic issues.
After impressing the coaching staff in practice for the 2012 season, Jones was listed as the second string quarterback heading into the season. However, in Week 2, head coach Bill O'Brien decided to move Jones to tight end to get him on the field more.
Wednesday's news of his departure ends a once promising Penn State career that never really got started.
Jones is the latest highly recruited Penn State quarterback to end up leaving the team.
Quarterback Pat Devlin was a 4-star recruit who set the Pennsylvania high school career passing record with 8,162 yards. Devlin redshirted in 2006, but never had the career many expected. He spent his time at Penn State as a backup and only attempted 48 passes for the Nittany Lions.
At the end of the 2008 season, right before the Rose Bowl game, quarterback Pat Devlin decided to leave Penn State. Devlin transferred to the University of Delaware where he spent two seasons as the starting quarterback. He is currently a member of the Miami Dolphins.
Another 4-star quarterback recruit who failed to live up to expectations at Penn State was Kevin Newsome. Newsome played in every game in 2009, but was mainly used to spell starter Daryl Clark.
He was never really more than a backup and didn't put up numbers anywhere close to a top recruit. He ended up leaving before the 2011 season, only ever throwing 24 passes with the Nittany Lions.
Newsome is currently a backup quarterback for the Temple Owls.
The bad luck kept coming for the Nittany Lions' quarterback recruits. In 2010, 4-star recruit Rob Bolden was the starter until a midseason injury forced him to give way to Matt McGloin.
2011 saw Bolden sharing snaps with McGloin in Joe Paterno's two-quarterback system. That plan only lasted half the year as Bolden struggled behind center. McGloin eventually became the full-time starter.
After his disappointing 2011 season, Bolden was listed as the third quarterback going into 2012 behind Jones and McGloin. Bolden announced in August that he was leaving Penn State and transferring to LSU to battle for the backup QB job.
It's safe to say that Bolden never lived up to expectations. He finished his time at Penn State with seven touchdowns, 14 interceptions and only 2,045 total yards passing.
The Nittany Lions will try their luck again with another top quarterback recruit in 2013. Christian Hackenberg, a 4-star recruit and the No. 3 QB, will hope to have more success than his predecessors.
Note: Jones is the second Penn State player to leave for personal reasons in the past month. Starting wide receiver Shawney Kersey left after Week 2 for personal reasons.
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