UGA Football

Kirby Smart says Kearis Jackson 'can give you something those other guys don’t give you'

Georgia receiver Kearis Jackson goes through a drill during practice.
Georgia receiver Kearis Jackson goes through a drill during practice. Georgia Sports Communications

Kearis Jackson, at 6-foot, has the kind of height you typically see slot receivers playing at.

He also possesses the kind of bulk on his frame, at 200 pounds, to beat jams when lined up against cornerbacks outside. This combination of size and stature has aided the Peach County product nearly halfway through spring practice, as he continues to learn what the Bulldogs want to do offensively in the passing game.

With this in mind, and by showing some football smarts already, Jackson has rotated as both an outside and inside receiver.

"He’s learning how to play in there and outside," head coach Kirby Smart said. "He’s a very bright kid. It matters to Kearis. If he doesn’t do it right, it bothers him. He takes coaching well."

Jackson being asked to learn the position at two receiver different spots is quite the task. But the early results appear to be positive for Jackson, who ended his high school career with 161 catches for 2,508 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Georgia's receiving group is deep in numbers, although it did lose Javon Wims, the program's leading receiver in 2017. But Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman form what looks to be the leading trio for quarterback Jake Fromm to toss the football to. Even so, there figures to be a lot of rotating at wideout, much like there was a season ago.

Jackson will hope he is among those in that rotation by the time the season begins on Sept. 1 against Austin Peay. And he has been off to a good start for a while now. Before spring practice began, Georgia strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair posted a video to his Twitter account showing him squatting 405 pounds five times.

That kind of strength will go a long way when it comes to receiver. Not only do the receivers in Georgia's offense need to catch the ball, they also need to be adept at blocking for the running backs. And that side of Jackson's game is appealing to Smart.

"I do think he’s different than those guys (Mecole and Ahkill Crumpton)," Smart said. "What he’s going to give us is still yet to be determined because those guys have elite straight-line speed and quickness, and Kearis is a good body guy. He gives you a bigger body, more physical, he can block people. He’s got some toughness in there. He can give you something those other guys don’t give you."