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Arizona football: Cayleb Jones on transferring to Tucson and looking for a fresh start after tumultuous offseason

Cayleb Jones joined his Texas buddy Connor Brewer in Tucson last week when he announced he was also transferring to Arizona

Cayleb Jones heads to Arizona looking for a fresh start
Cayleb Jones heads to Arizona looking for a fresh start
Cooper Neill

Cayleb Jones caught a grand total of two balls in his freshman year for the Texas Longhorns in 2012.  But in March, Jones was arrested and charged with felony assault.  Mack Brown suspended him from the team, and when the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor, he was reinstated.

After the fallout though, Jones and his family decided it would be best for him to get a fresh start.

"It came down to Arizona, Oklahoma, and East Carolina for me.  And then I felt the most comfortable here.  The coaches knew what I'd been through and they kinda wanted to give me a fresh start.  Just give me a new place and a new atmosphere."

"(Coach Rodriguez) wanted to welcome me with open arms.  He knew everything that I'd been through before.  They care about football, as long as we're doing the right thing, nothing from the past is gonna come up."

"He had a off-field issue," said head coach Rich Rodriguez.  "It's been resolved."

"I have the chance to break records here," said Jones.  "Own the ball.  Connor (Brewer)'s here, DaVonte' Neal just got here.  There's a few guys that I can sit out with that I'll have a chance to play with."

"Connor played a big role."

"I talked to him a few times," said Connor Brewer.  "He was one of my good friends at Texas.  I just told him, it's a great place.  We're going to be throwing the ball a lot and I definitely think he can be a big part of the offense next year."

On what he told the coaches about Jones, Brewer said "If you want a receiver who's going to make big plays.  He's big, tall, fast, can make moves, run great routes, everything you want in a receiver."

"Connor said he was a great guy," said Rodriguez.  "He said he loved him, thought he was a great guy, a young guy that made some mistakes maybe but we love to have him here."

"Just athleticism," added senior WR Terrence Miller.  "He's a really tall receiver.  When a guy like him comes in and you don't really know anything about him, you've just heard a lot of good things.  I'm glad his reputation precedes him, he's a really good receiver."

"It's definitely a great thing that he's here now," said Brewer.

"We're just looking for players," said head coach Rich Rodriguez.  "Whether they're a transfer kid or high school kid, we just want OKGs (our kind of guy).  If it's a younger transfer like DaVonte', like Connor, or Cayleb, than those guys still have a chance to grow in your program. If you're gonna get (a transfer), a lot of times the best ones to get are the younger ones, the ones that have three, maybe four years of eligibility."

Since Jones is a guy who went to high school in Austin, Texas had the advantage from the start, even though UCLA, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona State were among the PAC-12 schools to offer him out of high school.  "We weren't in Austin," added Rodriguez.  "Didn't figure we'd get an Austin kid to leave Austin if he was recruited by Texas."

"I met coach (Mack) Brown when I was a sophomore in high school," said Jones.  "I moved around a lot as a kid because my dad played ball, so Texas wasn't always my favorite school.  But being home, playing in front of my friends and family was good to me.  I liked that."

"I figured it would be chaotic (moving to Tucson), but it's been real smooth.  Meeting everybody, putting names to faces.  Everything's a change.  I wouldn't really point out anything specifically."

What have been some of the things that he's really tried to work on his first few days in Tucson?

"Adjusting to a new system quickly.  I know that at the next level that's what players have to do all the time.  Just kind of adjusting to the new people, how things work around here."

"It's different kind of athletes out here, these guys are really athletic, more hybrid-type guys.  People that grew up in Texas try to be huge, swollen guys who can't move as well.  Different parts of the country, different players."

There's a lot that Jones needs to do this year to get ready for 2014.  "Really staying focused more than anything.  It's detrimental when you're not playing you've got more off time.  Stay in the weight room, stay in the film room, and help these guys get better."

"We're just trying to learn the system as much as we can right now."

"I'm excited to learn from guys like Austin (Hill) when he gets back.  And just anybody, there's a lot of people."

"The first day I was here I met Austin, we ate breakfast with him and a couple of the coaches.  He just welcomed me here."

With the Texas transfers of Brewer and Jones, and then you throw in DaVonte' Neal, other freshman receivers that have really shown some great upside this camp in Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant, and Austin Hill coming back.....RichRod may wind up with a historically great passing team next season.