New year, new number: the backup QB (for now)
At Penn State you know that we're one team, and we stick together no matter what happens. Penn State is a family, and there's a lot of support behind us...[the reason he stayed is because of] the bond I have with my teammates here. I felt like it would hard to get that anywhere else. Second, this coaching staff believes in us and I believe in them. This is the perfect place to be.
--Paul Jones at Media Day, 8/9/2012
Redshirt sophomore Paul "PJ" Jones comes into the 2012 season having not seen time in a regular season football game since his senior year of high school, having redshirted the 2010 season and being academically ineligible (by Joe Paterno standards, at least) to see the field in 2011.
All accounts had Jones coming out of spring practice this year as a clear number two on the depth chart, and he has been taking reps with the number ones in some of preseason camp.
After a stellar 2010 Blue/White game performance that got many fans excited, Jones fell behind fellow freshman Rob Bolden and former walk-on Matt McGloin on the depth chart going into the 2010 season. His performance in the 2011 spring game seemed to be a step back, as he couldn't complete a pass in the monsoon-like conditions.
In the new offense vs. defense style of the 2012 spring game, Jones again looked serviceable, completing six of 15 passes for 113 yards, one touchdown, and one interception; it was his ability, however, to extend plays and scramble out of pressure that gets fans excited about what some hope will, eventually, be the Jones-run offense of Penn State.
Coach O'Brien has specifically stated that Jones will see significant time this year, regardless of whether he ultimately starts or not.
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