It’s been a long time since the tight end was a major weapon in the Colorado offense.
That could change next season with Darrion Jones.
A 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end at Los Angeles Harbor College, Jones verbally committed to CU on Monday. He plans to make it official by signing his letter of intent on Wednesday and arrive in Boulder in January.
“I’m excited about the decision I made and I’m ready to get out there,” Jones said.
Jones will have three years to play two seasons. Given his size and the ability he has shown, Jones could be an asset immediately. Jones caught 41 passes for 795 yards and five touchdowns this past season.
“(The CU coaches) just see me being on the field at all times, whether that’s being tight with the line or being flexed out, being moved around and creating mismatches with the safeties and corners and even linebackers,” Jones said.
If Jones can do all of that, he could be the best tight end CU has had in years.
In five seasons under head coach Mike MacIntyre, the best season by a CU tight end was from Sean Irwin in 2015, when he caught 15 passes for 248 yards.
In the past two years combined, CU tight ends have caught a total of just 11 passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
“They’re excited about what I can be and what I can bring to the offense,” Jones said.
Sophomore Chris Bounds put his play-making ability on display at times this year, with seven catches for 102 yards and two scores.
The Buffs will also return Jared Poplawski, a true freshman this past season who is viewed as an all-around tight end with a high ceiling.
Jones brings a unique set of skills to the table and could be a nice complement to Bounds and Poplawski.
Jones picked CU over North Carolina State, Kansas and others. He developed a relationship with CU running backs coach Darian Hagan last spring, and his relationship with CU has only grown this past year.
After taking his official visit to CU on Dec. 1, Jones is now ready to get to work in Boulder.
“It’s real exciting,” he said. “I’m just ready to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.