Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Terriers have much to be excited about in Jacks, future

Evan Jacks is obviously a different player than he was last season as a redshirt freshman.

"He's improved tremendously," Mike Ayers noted on this week's radio coach's show, in response to this writer's inquiry about Jacks' progression as a quarterback. "He's finally, I think, at a point, where, emotionally, he's ready for it. Last year, he would go out there, and his mind would be running a million miles an hour; [he has] tremendous energy, [he is a] tremendous competitor and all that, but sometimes you just got to take it easy out there."

Indeed, Jacks appeared poised and comfortable on the field in last Saturday's encounter with The Citadel. The Johns Creek, Ga., native gained 169 yards on the ground in the SoCon opener for the Terriers, where he broke out for several impressive runs and scored a pair of touchdowns.

"[Jacks] is at a point now where he understands the offense," Ayers added. "He is a guy that has become a leader. I think [Jacks' teammates] trust him, and that's a huge part for any quarterback: to have the trust of the guys that are blocking for him and catching for him and taking the pitch from him."

Jacks' progression from last season didn't happen overnight, though.

"It is a process to develop into a top-notch quarterback; it's a lot of film study, it's spring ball, it's weight room, it's summer work; and all of that combined, I think, has afforded him an opportunity to digest what he needs to do, and feel comfortable with it."

Ayers went on to say that comfortable might not be as good of a descriptor of the sophomore quarterback's state as confident"Confident is probably a better word, because you're confident, and when your confident, that means that you feel you have the full awareness, the full scope of what you're doing."

In comparison to former Wofford quarterbacks, Ayers said that Jacks is "probably a combination of several of them."

"He's quick-footed; he can put his foot in the ground and go north in a heartbeat. He can make people miss in space; he can run away from you with his top-end speed; and he has a really good arm."

"[Jacks] is a guy that is only going to get better; every snap that he takes that's another rep that he catalogues, that's another situation, that's another read or pass progression, or opportunity to add to your mental aspect of the game."

Evan Jacks, though, isn't the only thing to be excited about for Wofford's quarterbacks, as Coach Ayers has his eyes set on the future as well.

"The great thing is, we've got other guys that are working hard to try to get better, and they're talented guys as well, so we're very blessed to have some good guys there."

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