MACON – First, about the important stuff. Kearis Jackson’s wrist is going to be fine. He has had surgery, remains in a cast and should be good to go shortly after he arrives on UGA’s campus as a key member of Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class.
And that won’t be long. Jackson signed Wednesday and will enroll in January.
In fact, Jackson is going to be there before he expected to be. Because of the wrist injury – which knocked him out of Peach County’s run to the Class AAA state championship game – the fleet-footed flanker had to take a pass on the invitation he’d accepted to the Under Armour All-American Bowl quite some time ago. Organizers told him he could still go to Orlando, Fla., and enjoy all the perks and amenities, but after flying him down there, he’d have to find his own ride back.
“And that wouldn’t work because my parents said [they weren’t] going to come if I wasn’t playing,” Jackson said in a recent interview outside his orthopedist’s office at Ortho Georgia. “But it really works out better because I can go ahead and go to college and get up to Georgia and be in the team already.”
Jackson is eager to get started again because sitting out has been tough for this extremely productive football player. He injured his left wrist diving for an overthrown ball in the second round of the state playoffs. He was told after a trip to the local hospital that the wrist was only sprained, but the pain and swelling only got worse and soon he couldn’t feel his fingers.
The good thing for Jackson was he was taking a visit to UGA that weekend for the Kentucky game. An examination by the training staff there revealed he had suffered a dislocation. He immediately was taken to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, had the wrist popped back into place and then underwent surgery that Monday.
That’s where the good news ended, however. Jackson hoped to be able to come back in the playoffs for the Trojans. He actually dressed for the state championship against Calhoun but, alas, he didn’t play. And that ended up being doubly heartbreaking as Peach lost on what might be one of the most controversial calls ever made by a referee in a championship game.
“It was crazy,” Jackson sighed. “Noah Whittington made a great catch, a great play. Obviously it was a bad call. We’re just taking it like a man.”
But that’s all water under the bridge now for Jackson. With the completion of the fall semester at Peach County High, he officially graduated and is bound for Athens. He plans to enroll on Jan. 3 and, with any luck, he might even be able to accompany the Bulldogs to the National Championship Game in Atlanta.
If they make it, of course.
What to know about 4-star receiver Kearis Jackson
Weight: 203 pounds
Rankings: No. 203 overall in nation, No. 32 wide receiver, No. 23 in Georgia.
Committed since: Aug. 19, 2017
Why that date: Wanted to get it done before the high school season so he could concentrate on football and recruiting the most talented teammates possible to UGA.
Enroll early: Yes
Did you know: Jackson just became a big brother for the first time. His mother, Kimberly McGhee, just gave birth to Madilynn Nicole McGhee, who was born the day before state championship game, Dec. 7. Jackson missed the birth, which came early, but he was able to meet his little sister two days later, which happened to be his 18th birthday.
Bet you didn’t know: Jackson is related by marriage to current Georgia player and starting defensive back Tyrique McGhee. McGhee’s mother, Jacqueline, is a cousin to Jackson’s stepfather. “I guess that makes us cousins by marriage.”