Thursday, September 18, 2014

Despite adversity, Jacks is maturing into a leader for the Terriers

Evan Jacks is working hard to shake off some of the negative connotations left from last season.

The Johns Creek, Ga., native saw his first action as a Terrier last season, playing as a redshirt freshman after sitting out the 2012 campaign. Four of Jacks' five starts were Wofford's final four games of the season, the dropped contests that served as the basis for the longest losing streak of Mike Ayers' tenure at the helm in Spartanburg - five games, including the loss to Georgia Tech to kick off this season.

During only his second-ever start, a late October tilt with the Samford Bulldogs, Jacks went 7-for-13 for 82 yards through the air, and 38 on the ground. The next game didn't see as much leeway for the young quarterback, as Chattanooga limited him to only 39 passing yards and 37 rushing yards. Along with the two interceptions thrown by Jacks, it was a rough afternoon for the then-redshirt-freshman; Will Gay even out-gained him with a single 60-yard pass.

After showing some improvement during the following game against Appalachian State, particularly in the rush, his usual strong suit, he finished out the season more comfortable on the field, but still needing revision.

Another trouble displayed last season was a tinge of hesitancy with his pitches, sometimes leading to the much-feared blown-up play that serves disastrous consequences for a team like Wofford.

However, Jacks is ready to leave that behind him.
Evan Jacks evades a Georgia Tech defender during
the Terriers' season opener on Aug. 30th.
AP Photo/Mike Stewart

If he was, in fact, growing comfortable out there, that quickly dissolved, as he was faced with a stiff competition for the starting job this offseason, in a closely-matched battle between Jacks, Michael Weimer, Brandon Goodson, and Brad Butler.

Perhaps being faced with such opposition brought out the best in all four contenders, and Jacks was not a lone beneficiary.

Jacks came out strong in the season opener against ACC opponent Georgia Tech, rushing for 91 yards. Some of the plays that the Terriers derived the greatest benefit from were from Jacks' ground power.

Last Saturday, Jacks displayed how the Terriers have integrated more and more of the pass into their offensive system, especially against the traditionally air-based North Greenville Crusaders, with 115 passing yards in just six completions - one of which was actually the longest passing play in school history.

As the season progresses, expect to see Jacks continue to grow and thrive in his role for the Terriers.

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