Jermaine Burton burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2020 for the Georgia Bulldogs. There was no denying from day 1 the talent that the Terrence Edwards trained phenom possessed. Originally from the state of Georgia, Burton made his way home by signing with the Dawgs after playing his high school ball in Calabasas, California. From the day that Georgia landed Burton over LSU and many others, the hype train began rolling, and the talented receiver’s performance in year 1 did nothing to slow it down. Having a season under his belt and an entire offseason, including spring ball, to improve upon an already steady connection with JT Daniels, Burton’s abilities are sure to make defensive coordinators lose some sleep before playing Georgia.
No longer can defenses overplay George Pickens, as bad as they will want to. If they do, Burton will make them pay with his ability to play both inside and outside receiver. The speed, the body control, and the dexterity of Jermaine Burton make him a matchup nightmare. In high school and on into his freshman season at Georgia, Burton showed a knack for tracking the deep ball and positioning his body to keep defenders out of plays. Burton doesn’t have to win 50/50 balls, become he eliminates the defender’s chances with how he runs his routes. Todd Monken truly has a plethora of options in terms of concepts and personnel groupings regarding Pickens, Burton, Kearis Jackson, Arian Smith, and a 3 headed monster at tight end.
As was the case with George Pickens, Jermaine Burton’s production skyrocketed, with JT Daniels at the helm for the Dawgs. In the first game with Daniels as the starter, Burton racked up a career-high 197 yards on 8 catches, 2 of which resulted in touchdowns! Burton averaged 3.5 receptions and 68.5 yards over the last 4 games of the 2020 season for the Dawgs. If that pace keeps up heading into 2021, Burton could realistically be in store for between 35 to 40 catches and 700 to 800 yards. Needless to say, if that happens, it will likely mean that Georgia has found ways to move the chains and take the Burden off of Pickens and the running backs.
There is no doubt that Burton needs to improve his consistency in some of the intermediate routes. There were opportunities to make plays, albeit tough ones, at times, and the then true freshman was unable to secure some balls thrown his way over the middle. However, with another speedster lining up beside him in Arian Smith to take the top of the defense, and also being flanked by the ever-present threats of George Pickens and Kearis Jackson, there is no doubt that Todd Monken will have various concepts and calls dialed up to get the ball to Burton the ball in space. Burton is one of the most natural and explosive playmakers on the 2021 Georgia roster bar none, and I expect him to be treated as such this upcoming season. Combing that raw talent with a year of strength and nutrition at UGA and some SEC maturity and knowledge earned the hard way, Burton is in line to be a key component of what is expected to be the most efficient and explosive offense the Dawgs have had in the Kirby Smart era.