UGA WR Kearis Jackson: ‘This will be a Georgia offense that nobody has ever seen before’
If the Georgia offense lives up to what wide receiver Kearis Jackson had to say about the group, you can go ahead and continue making those oft-made comparisons to the 2019 LSU team.
“A new Georgia team that nobody has ever seen before,” Jackson said. “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 the Georgia team that has left many asking questions of the offense in recent seasons. The defense has rarely been the problem under Kirby Smart, especially in 2019 when the Bulldogs had the top scoring defense int he country.
But the same can’t be said for the offensive side of the ball, which is why Jackson is playing for his third different offensive coordinator in three years. This year Todd Monken will be tasked with lifting up the Georgia offense to a higher standard.
In 2019, part of the reason the offense failed to live up to expectations was in part because of the talent level at the wide receiver position. The Bulldogs lost four of their top five pass-catchers from the 2018 team and Smart said the early departures of Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley for the NFL left Georgia in a bind.
So the Bulldogs went out and signed five wide receivers, a 5-star tight end and brought in a transfer tight end in Tre’ McKitty this offseason. Georgia also brings back sophomore wide receiver George Pickens, who was named Preseason Second Team All-SEC.
Pickens led the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches last year. And per Smart, that was before he really even knew what he was doing.
“He has a really good grasp on the overall, entire system,” Smart said. “At times last year, he was a guy you had to put in a certain place and really explain what to do. He understands a lot more now about the bigger picture.
“He has a better understanding of all of those things and that’s important to the rest of our offense. George [Pickens] is a talented player that can make us better in other ways than just catching the ball.”
Whoever ends up being the starting quarterback for Georgia will greatly benefit from having a player like Pickens on the outside. So will every other receiver as the Bulldogs look to find Pickens more help so that other teams can’t just blanket him in coverage.
A name to monitor there could be senior Demetris Robertson, who enters his final year in the program.
“He’s gotten faster, stronger, bigger—he’s able to do more things. He certainly understands our system,” Smart said. “He’s a good leader. He helps on special teams. I’m excited to see what he does this year.”
Much attention has been given to the Georgia wide receivers and quarterbacks this offseason, due in large part to the question marks about the positions. The same can’t be said for the running back spot, even though Georgia must replace D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien from the 2019 team.
The reason for the confidence is due to how Zamir White and James Cook have performed this offseason. The two running backs, who are both in their third year’s in the program, have been vocal leaders for the team.
The two have flashed talent and signs of promise before but now will get a chance to display that in a much larger capacity.
“The big thing for both of them is getting more conditioning, more stamina, ‘I’m going to play more snaps maybe than I have in the past. What is my role on third down,'” Smart said. “Those guys get ample opportunity to go against us every day in practice where they get to see a lot of looks and work on pass-pro stuff.”
Smart pointed back to the Baylor game as a chance for both White and Cook to show what they could do in an expanded role due to Swift being limited and Herrien not playing in the game. Cook unfortunately left the game with an injury, but White impressed rushing for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Among players on the offense, no one has been praised more this offseason than White and Cook, a positive sign for the Georgia rushing attack.
The talent level at the skill position is higher than it has been in recent seasons and certainly more so than in 2019. It is unproven to some extent, but Pickens, White and others have shown enough for there to be realistic optimism about what the group can do this season, independent of what Georgia decides to do at the quarterback position.
“We got a lot of special players over there,” linebacker Monty Rice said. “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.”
Georgia will get its first chance to show what the offense and skill players can do starting on Saturday when the Bulldogs take on Arkansas. The game is set for a 4 p.m. ET kickoff and the game will air on the SEC Network.
Kearis Jackson hypes up Georgia football offense
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