The Jets dipped deep into the undrafted free agent pool to bolster their wide receiver depth following the 2022 NFL draft, signing Irvin Charles out of Division II IUP.
Charles isn’t your average Division II undrafted free agent. He started his collegiate career playing for a Power 5 program and, occasionally, making an impact. He eventually desired an increased role, leading him to IUP and a season that played him onto New York’s undrafted free agent radar.
Here are five things to know about Gang Green’s newest wideout.
New Jersey native
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Charles grew up in South Jersey and played his high school football at Paul VI. Charles was among the top prospects in New Jersey in the class of 2015 and earned all-state honors as a senior. He also caught 49 passes for 848 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior.
Former 4-star recruit
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Charles was a highly-touted recruit coming out of Paul VI with offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Miami, Ohio State and Penn State. Charles ultimately committed to Penn State as a four-star prospect and the No. 26 wide receiver in the class of 2015, according to 247Sports.
Coming out hot
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Charles appeared in seven games as a redshirt freshman and caught two passes — one of which was memorable. Charles’ first collegiate reception was an 80-yard touchdown against Minnesota. Penn State went on to win the game with the help of the explosive score.
Special teams niche
AP Photo/Chris Knight
Charles caught just three passes for 110 yards and a touchdown during his three years at Penn State, as he played primarily on special teams. Charles played in 25 games in 2016 and 2017, registering 13 tackles and a forced fumble on kickoff and punt return coverage. Charles’ forced fumble came against Indiana in Big Ten play.
Making an impact at IUP
Photo via IUP Athletics
Charles opted to transfer from Penn State in 2019 following his redshirt sophomore season and landed at IUP with an opportunity to play more of a role in the passing game. However, he didn’t take the field until 2021 due to academic issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Charles made the most of his lone season suiting up for IUP, catching 39 passes for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns.
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