Charlie Jones started his college football career at Buffalo, where he redshirted in 2017. In 2018, he finished as the third-leading receiver (395 yards) behind 2x First-team All-MAC WR Anthony Johnson and future NFL draft pick, K.J. Osborn. He also returned kicks at a 19.3 yards per return rate. He opted to transfer to Iowa after the 2018 season, sitting out the 2019 season in the process.
During his two seasons at Iowa, Jones made a bigger impact on special teams than at wide receiver. He totaled 21 receptions in 21 games at Iowa. He scored touchdowns as both a punt and kick returner, averaging an impressive 25.4 yards per kick return. With one last season of eligibility, he transferred again to Purdue. Jones had by far his most productive football at Purdue, finishing with 110 receptions for 1361 yards and 12 touchdowns, setting the Purdue season record for receiving yards. He would be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.