Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez is filling up his roster with intriguing transfers from four-year schools, including Notre Dame receiver Davonte’ Neal, Texas quarterback Connor Brewer … and now another Longhorn, former five-star receiver Cayleb Jones.
Jones committed to the Wildcats on Tuesday. The news was first reported by Mike Berman of Austin YNN.
Jones was in the 2012 recruiting class with Brewer, playing briefly as a true freshman, catching two passes for 35 yards while appearing in 10 games.
Jones (6-3, 200) was expected to have a larger role in the offense this season but was suspended in the spring after allegedly striking a Texas tennis player. He was reinstated to the team after the original felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, but he decided to transfer.
Scout.com rated Jones as the 30th-best player and third-best receiver prospect in the nation for the 2012 class. Jones was ranked 41st and fifth by Rivals.com, and 128th and 17th by 247Sports.
Jones grew up near the UT campus in Austin, Texas.
“I’d drive by his field every Friday night when he was playing on my way home and couldn’t stop to look, but I could hear the cheers from my front porch,” Texas coach Mack Brown said on Signing Day in 2012.
“Cayleb’s had a great smile. He’s a guy that has always wanted to come to Texas. He was very highly recruited. Part of the name recognition is because his dad was such a great player.”
Jones is the son of former linebacker Robert Jones, who started 128 games in the NFL between 1992 and 2001.
Arizona recently had success with another Texas transfer receiver, Dan Buckner, who also had legal issues while with the Longhorns. Buckner caught 103 passes in the past two seasons and also appeared to be a popular teammate. He is now in camp with the Arizona Cardinals.
Buckner and Jones each wore No. 4 for Texas (sorry, Arizona fans, there is no No. 4 on this season’s Longhorns roster).
In addition to Neal, Brewer and Jones, Arizona has quarterback Jesse Scroggins, who began his career at USC before spending last fall in junior college. The Cats brought in defensive back Jarvis McCall this summer; he signed with South Florida in 2012 but sat out last season.
The Wildcats also have commitments from former Boise State defensive tackle Jeff Worthy and ex-TCU defensive back Jamie Byrd. Both will spend this season in junior college.
Brewer and Jones will have to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules, each with three seasons of eligibility remaining. Brewer has been practicing with the team through fall camp. Neal, who has been practicing, is still awaiting word on his appeal to the NCAA to waive the transfer requirement and be immediately eligible.