One of college football’s most electric open-field players is set to depart Ann Arbor. According to Steve Lorenz of The Michigan Insider, Michigan receiver and kick returner Giles Jackson intends to enter his name into the transfer portal.
A sophomore in 2020, Jackson finished the season with 15 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown across five games. He played an immediate role for Michigan as a true freshman as well, posting nine receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown in 2019. At 5-foot-9, the California native’s quickness set him apart.
Jackson also made a name for himself as a dangerous kick returner. He took the second half opening kickoff for a touchdown against Rutgers in 2020, sparking the Wolverines’ eventual overtime comeback win, and returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown at Maryland in 2019.
“(Jackson) is crazy fast, super talented,” Michigan special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh said last May. “He even left some yards out there last year that I think this year he’s gonna be able to take advantage of as he continues to improve the way he understands our system, seeing the blocking scheme develop.”
Jackson was also used as a ball-carrier on end-arounds and jet sweeps in offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’s ‘Speed in Space’ attack. Across his two years, he racked up 74 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts.
The news comes at an unusual time, as most college football transfers make their decision in the weeks immediately following the season. Jackson also served as an integral part of incoming four-star 2021 recruit Xavier Worthy’s recruitment.
“After many long nights of deep thought, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal,” Jackson said in a Twitter post. “A world of thanks to all of the coaches, training staff, academic support staff and especially my teammates and friends, you will always be held in the highest regard. Lastly thank you to all the fans, you will be missed.”
In the wake of Jackson’s departure, Michigan is left with senior Ronnie Bell, juniors Cornelius Johnson and Mike Sainristil, and sophomores A.J. Henning and Roman Wilson as its top returning wideouts.