When it comes to wide receivers, there’s the speed guys and then there’s the tall, possession guys.
DaVonte Neal is fast; so is Samajie Grant. At 6-4, David Richards is big. So is Trey Griffey, at 6-3.
Cayleb Jones is 6-3, 203 pounds. He looks big, and often plays that way.
At Saturday’s spring game, Jones hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Connor Brewer.
That’s in the red zone, where guys of his size, and leaping ability, tend to thrive.
But, he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed, or labeled, as just that guy.
“I feel like I can do everything,” said Jones, the redshirt sophomore and Texas transfer. “I don’t try to limit my attributes to one specific area. It’s whatever they need me to be.
“Just catching the ball,” he added, “whether it’s first and 10, second and 10 or going deep. I feel like I can run screens as well, so whatever they need me to do.”
Jones came out of Austin High School in Texas a five-star recruit, according to Scout.com.
The scouting reports touted his leaping ability, his strength, his hands. He never got to show much of that, though, in his first year as a Longhorn.
He played in 10 games as a reserve. In one game against Iowa State, he had one catch for 23 yards. In another, against Kansas State, he had one carry for 10 yards and one catch for 12.
After transferring to Arizona, per NCAA rules, he sat out all of last year, alongside Neal, a transfer from Notre Dame. So, do the math and that’s … zero catches.
Two years, two catches.
Understandably, he wants more. He wants more than one catch, 18 yards and one score. Even if it’s just a spring game.
“I wanted to play a little more,” Jones said. “But that’s just how it works out. It was fortunate that Connor threw me my first touchdown.”
Jones spent a lot of this spring adjusting to the playbook and the tempo. At first, Jones felt he struggled. By the end, he felt pretty good.
“Cayleb’s had a good spring,” coach Rich Rodriguez said. “He had a lot to learn. Sometimes we forget it’s his first spring, but he’s a talented guy, and he loves football.”
Neal, also a five-star recruit out of high school, has been friends with Jones for three years. He sat with him, and practiced on the scout team with him, for all of last year.
“He’s a great guy, a talented guy,” Neal said. “Sometimes, Cayleb needs to be told, ‘Hey, I need you to push with me. I need you to go out there and play with me.’ He’s a good athlete, and he’s gonna go out there and make good plays as well.”
Jones is just ready to get more than one catch, or two. He’s ready to show off his speed, his strength, his size, his hands. His skills overall.
“Early in the spring, I was struggling with the concepts and the plays and stuff,” he said. “But now, after spring break, I started grasping and feeling better.”