2020 Season Countdown: #13 Giles Jackson

2020 Season Countdown: #13 Giles Jackson

October 3, 2020
Giles Jackson

Name: Giles Jackson
179 lbs.
High school: 
Oakley (CA) Freedom
Wide receiver
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
I ranked Jackson #61 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He made 9 catches for 142 yards and 1 touchdown, ran 10 times for 69 yards and 1 touchdown, and returned 24 kickoffs for 622 yards and 1 touchdown.
TTB Rating: 

As you can tell, Jackson didn’t redshirt in 2019. I thought he had a chance to play his way onto the field, mostly as a returner of some sort, but he was more involved in the offense than I expected. In addition to being named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten as a returner after averaging 25.9 yards per kickoff return, Michigan started to use him as a mismatch guy. He’s a super speedy receiver who can do the jet sweep thing, run wheel routes, run slot fades, etc.

Jackson probably deserves to be higher on this list here in 2020 now that fellow receiver Nico Collins has opted out of playing his senior season. Jackson was #7 on the team in receptions last year, and four of the guys ahead of him have departed. Michigan doesn’t have the height mismatch they had with the 6’4″ Collins, but they now have an array of speedy wideouts that can exploit linebackers and safeties.

Jackson ought to be a heavy contributor this season. With fellow slot receiver Ronnie Bell reportedly moving outside in Collins’s absence, that opens the door for Jackson, Mike Sainristil, A.J. Henning, and others to run RPOs from the slot. Jackson is not as tall as Bell, and without the basketball background, I’m not sure how well he would be able to handle high throws over the middle. But Jackson can threaten deep better than Bell, so there’s a trade-off. This should be a breakout year for Jackson, and I expect to see him used much the same way we saw K.J. Hamler play at Penn State.

Prediction: Starting slot receiver

Hit the jump for some of Jackson’s 2019 highlights.


  1. Comments: 111
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    Oct 03, 2020 at 1:24 PM

    Thunder, how would you compare the freshman season of Eddie Mcdoom and Giles Jackson? Both are speedy receivers who are a threat to run with the football.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 04, 2020 at 11:00 AM

      I would say that Michigan’s willingness to hand the ball off to McDoom (16 times) while refusing to throw it to him much (5 catches) was probably an indication that his hands were questionable. Of course, it’s hard for us to tell that based on high school highlight films and a lack of access to practice. On the flip side, Michigan threw the ball to Jackson a decent amount for a freshman in 2019 and also handed it to him, despite having probably a more talented receiving group overall (Collins, Peoples-Jones, Bell, Black, Eubanks, McKeon) compared to that 2016 crew (Darboh, Chesson, Butt, Hill were all good, but then it dropped off).

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Oct 04, 2020 at 4:14 PM

    I agree with this optimism for Jackson. The coaches really prioritized getting him the ball at the end of the year and with some of the playmakers leaving, Jackson should be a top target and potentially a breakout star.

    Hamler? Yes please.

    While I hope Michigan keeps using him as a RB as well as WR, the reality is the RB room is overflowing with talent and WR depth appears to be lacking. Getting your best players on the field probably means Jackson in the slot, but I hope we have some creativity to shift him in and out of the backfield too.

  3. Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    Oct 05, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    If he’s KJ Hamler I respect the #13 spot. Seeing you rate him this high makes me feel optimistic. If he can turn into a Hamler or Gallon I’d be ecstatic.

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