On the field, sophomore end Jamison shows off intensity

BY IAN HERBERT
Daily Sports Editor
Published November 1, 2005

After Saturday's game in Evanston, sophomore rush linebacker Tim Jamison wasn't quick to get on the bus. The weather was cold and the wind biting, but Jamison stood around outside with his typically big smile across his face and his young daughter in his arms.

At first glance, it seemed a little out of character for someone whose play on the field is usually vicious and intense. Jamison, who has made tackles in just six games in his two-year career, has recently drawn a lot of praise from coaches and teammates for his intensity. The sophomore recorded his first sack against Eastern Michigan this year, but he really started turning heads two weeks ago at Iowa.

In that game, Jamison helped Michigan fill the void that was left by junior LaMarr Woodley, who was out with a badly bruised right arm. On the stat sheet, Jamison made just one tackle against the Hawkeyes, but he was in the mix on a handful of big plays - including a fumble by Iowa quarterback Drew Tate.

"Right now, the biggest thing is seeing some of these young guys step up," senior co-captain Pat Massey said a week ago. "Iowa was the biggest showcase for that - John Thompson and Tim Jamison came to play every single day. They have been putting the hard work, and it paid off for them."

Carr called Jamison "explosive," and described him as the kind of guy who doesn't stay blocked very long - high praise for a defensive lineman.

"At Iowa City, he made a couple of outstanding plays where he was blocked and then the play stays alive and then he gets in on the tackle," Carr said.

Thompson didn't get a chance to show off again this week, but Jamison did. With Woodley still out, the sophomore was asked once again to rush the quarterback. And though his numbers once again didn't show up in the stats, his pressure on the quarterback stuck out.

Twice he hurried Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez - who has been sacked just six times all season. After the game, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr had nothing but praise for Jamison.

"I think Tim Jamison has really come on. It was obvious last fall that he is a very, very active player, and by that I mean he doesn't stay blocked," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "You may block him, but he is going to get off the block."

Often overshadowed by bigger names such as Woodley and Gabe Watson, Jamison is not the most well-known player on the Michigan roster. He played just three games last year as a freshman before an injury ended his season. This year, nagging injuries kept him out of Michigan's first two games as well.

"He missed three or four games in there, but we knew when he got back, when he became healthy, that he would be a factor for us," Carr said.

So it looks as if Jamison has been able to convince his coaches, teammates and maybe even fans that, no matter what the stats say after the game, his intensity on the field will provide plenty of reasons to smile when its all over.