Kearis Jackson on offense: ‘It’s all coming together’

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Kearis Jackson on offense: ‘It’s all coming together’

Georgia wide receiver Kearis Jackson (10) during the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Georgia wide receiver Kearis Jackson (10) during the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

One of the most intriguing questions surrounding the Georgia football program coming into this season is how its offense will look under the direction of new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Last season, the Bulldogs struggled tremendously in the second half of the year. So, now the Georgia offense hopes to emulate what the defense did in 2019, and that’s to find their new identity.

In 2019, the offense had its worst showing in recent years. The team didn’t produce as much in all aspects on offense under former offensive coordinator James Coley . Former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm struggled with completion percentage, the running game only averaged 4.9 yards per attempt and the unit had a third-down percentage of 41.2 percent. However, the team still finished 11-1 and had a chance to compete for a College Football Playoff berth.

This past offseason, the team didn’t get to practice due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has had a limited fall camp thus far. Nevertheless, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kearis Jackson has faith that Georgia’s offense can get the job done this season.

“A new Georgia team that nobody has ever seen before,” Jackson said in a press conference Monday. “That nobody would ever even thought of seeing this type of Georgia team that’s going to come out and be explosive. Just putting points on the board every time we touch the ball.”

That would be a huge win for a program that struggled down the stretch last season.

“Last year wasn’t the year we wanted to have but now it’s time to make a statement,” Jackson said. “I believe that every guy in that room has the ability to do that. I trust everybody. I’m confident in everybody. Anybody you put in the game is going to ball regardless.”

Georgia will have a new face at quarterback, whether it be JT Daniels or D’wan Mathis. It will finally be time for running backs Zamir White and James Cook to handle a bulk of the carries. George Pickens returns for his sophomore season with several veterans in the group, including Jackson and Matt Landers. That receiving corps also has several talented freshman who will be on display.

Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton (7) during the Bulldogs’ practice in Athens, Ga., on Thursday. Sept. 3, 2020. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)
Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton (7) during the Bulldogs’ practice in Athens, Ga., on Thursday. Sept. 3, 2020. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

“It’s all coming together,” Jackson said. “This week, we actually get to put it all together against another team instead of going against our savage defense every day. It’s time to face somebody different. I’m pretty sure all my teammates are excited to play a different opponent.”

The talent level is there, but now it’s just about them being able to produce at a higher level than last year. That new level on confidence that Jackson is displaying might lead people to believe that the Bulldogs do have a new identity on offense. It’s just a matter of time now until they get exhibit Monken’s new system for the world to see.

Monken was the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018. During that season, the Buccaneers finished third in touchdowns and yards per game, and fourth in passing attempts. He also has had stints at the college level, too.

Those offenses he ran at Oklahoma State and Southern Miss excelled under his direction. His philosophy seems to be spreading the ball more through the air to open up the run, which is something that is especially good for Georgia because they have the proponents to do so.

We got a lot of special players over there,” linebacker Monty Rice said on Monday. “Ultimately you’re going to be judged by how you play on Saturday. We’ve got a great opportunity on offense, defense, special teams to showcase what we’ve been doing the past couple of months and what we’ve been preparing for.”

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.