Stellar, Standard & Subpar: Giles Jackson In 2020
We continue our series as we look at each potential contributor on Michigan's roster in numerical order and look at what would be a stellar, standard and subpar season in 2020.
We're on to No. 15, sophomore wide receiver Giles Jackson.
At 5-9, 188 pounds, Jackson obviously isn't the biggest receiver in the world but he's quick as a hiccup and possesses long speed as well. Last year as a true freshman, he didn't exactly stuff the stat sheet with just nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown, but he found the end zone as a receiver, out of the backfield and as a return man. He's versatile, extremely dangerous in the open field and in line for a big bump in playing time.
Because of that, he's got a chance to be a major weapon for the Wolverines in Josh Gattis' second year as a play caller. How major? That's the question...
Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell are going to be the top two pass catching options for the Wolverines in 2020 but Jackson could come in at No. 3 in a stellar scenario. He was just a bit more productive than his classmates Mike Sainristil and Cornelius Johnson last year, especially when you throw in his abilities out of the backfield and in the return game, so he seems like he's next in line.
If he is definitely No. 3 on the wide receiver depth chart, he could and should triple his production. That would come out to 27 catches for 426 yards and three touchdowns. Throw in another score or two on jet sweeps or plays out of the backfield and maybe as a returner, and you'd have to be very happy with where Jackson is in year two.
A standard season would be slightly less productive than a stellar season, but completely understandable and, honestly, not a bad thing. With Sainristil and Johnson, along with incoming freshmen AJ Henning and Roman Wilson, plus tight ends Erick All, Nick Eubanks and Luke Schoonmaker, and even running back Chris Evans all at the quarterback's disposal, there are just a ton of weapons to choose from.
If Jackson ends up with just twice as much production — 18 catches for 284 yards and two touchdowns — that would be pretty understandable but might not be a bad thing if Collins and Bell Blow up with regular contributions from everyone else.
When you're as exciting and capable as Jackson is, repeating a moderately impressive 2019 season with a slight uptick just won't be good enough in 2020. If Jackson finishes with 10-15 catches, around 200 yards and a score or two, that just won't be the kind of trajectory people are expecting. If that does happen, it's probably because Sainristil and Johnson took a bigger step than expected and younger guys are stepping up as well. Again, not necessarily a bad thing overall, but not ideal for Jackson's sophomore campaign.
Because of his burst, versatility and expected increased role, I have Jackson at No. 2 on my breakout players list. I think he'll finish with at least five touchdowns and more than 600 yards of offense. Sprinkle in some explosive plays as a return man and Jackson, who will sport the No. 0 for the first time in program history, will be a fan favorite come November.
No. 1 — Ambry Thomas
No. 2 — Carlo Kemp
No. 2 — Jake Moody
No. 3 — Quinn Nordin
No. 4 — Nico Collins
No. 5 — Joe Milton
No. 6 — DJ Turner
No. 6 — Cornelius Johnson
No. 8 — Ronnie Bell
No. 10 — Dylan McCaffrey
No. 12 — Josh Ross
No. 12 — Chris Evans
No. 15 — Chris Hinton