Jess is a girl who knows what she wants and she's ready to work hard to get it. Because her mother passed away, she's had to step up and help her dad, Virgil "Big Mary," raise her three younger brothers as well as manage the family business: Ray's BBQ. All of this on top of being a teenager, leader of the East Dillon Spirit Squad, and an avid football fan.
Jess starts dating Vince and and struggles to control her three younger brothers, especially once her father extends his work trip. Jess also becomes the equipment manager for the East Dillon Lions which proves an area for conflict between her and Vince. As the season progresses she shows an increasing interest in coaching and even asks Coach Eric Taylor if she can shadow him. Initially, he ignores her but Jesse is persistent and shows him an article about the first female football coach. He eventually agrees and Jesse is present with all the coaches when the East Dillon Lions take the state championship. When the school board announces the dissolution of the East Dillon Lions Jesse is distraught wondering whether she'll be allowed to learn about coaching in the new team. In the last episode, however her father announces that he is moving the whole family to Dallas as the Ray's BBQ as he's opening a second franchise location. When Jesse shares this news with Coach Eric Taylor, he asks her if she wants him to call the coach in Dallas who he knows. In the final montage we can see Jesse in Dallas wearing the assistant coach's uniform helping the team there.