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Penn State in the NFL

Former Penn State WR Irvin Charles Signed to Jets’ Active Roster

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Penn State Nittany Lions Wide Receiver Irvin Charles (11) runs a route as Indiana University Hoosiers Defensive Back Rashard Fant (16) stays close during the Big Ten Conference game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Indiana Hoosiers on November 12, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire)

Former Penn State receiver Irvin Charles has been signed to the New York Jets’ active roster, the team announced Wednesday morning.

Charles made his NFL debut this past Sunday, forcing a fumble in New York’s 31-21 win at Denver.

Now, he’s officially off the practice squad.

Charles ended his college career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he spent the 2021 season. In that campaign, he averaged more than 29 yards per catch and scored 12 touchdowns in nine games. From there, the Jets signed him as an un-drafted free agent, closing the book on a tumultuous college football career. A four-star recruit from Sicklerville, New Jersey, Charles played at Penn State from 2015, redshirting his first season.

In 2016, he made his greatest contribution to Penn State football against Minnesota. Charles caught his first reception, which ended up going for an 80-yard touchdown. Penn State ended up winning the game, 29-26, in overtime.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Charles at Penn State.

Charles played in 11 games in 2017, being used mainly on special teams. Then, before the 2018 Fiesta Bowl, Charles and Manny Bowen were kicked off the program for violating unspecified team rules.

After taking the 2018 season off he enrolled at IUP in 2019, but he was ruled academically ineligible and sat out the season. IUP canceled the 2020 season due to COVID, so it would take three seasons for Charles to see the field for the Crimson Hawks.

Now, Charles will have a chance to show what he can do as a full-time member of an NFL roster. It’s been an unconventional path, but Charles made it, and it’s a feel-good story.

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