Tim Jamison: "I've got to lead"

Since arriving in Ann Arbor in the Fall of 2004, Tim Jamison has struggled to stay healthy in his days as a Michigan football player. Now expected to find a role in the starting line up, Jamison will be needed if the Maize and Blue want to find success on the defensive side of the ball in 2007. At Michigan's media day last week, Jamison sat down to talk about his role on the 2007 defense.

When Tim Jamison, a blazing quick 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive end, announced his decision to attend Michigan, U-M fans across the nation knew exactly what they were getting. After terrorizing the state of Illinois to the tune of 18 sacks over his senior season at Thornton Township High School, Jamison took his gig to the U.S. Army All-American game where his speed and tenacity off the end garned the "Land of Lincoln" star top three honors.

Since arriving in Ann Arbor, however, things have slowed down for Jamison, a pass-rushing specialist. In his first two seasons with the Maize and Blue, the speedy end suited up for just 13 games.

"I think Tim is an excellent football player. He's been plagued with injury, and I think if he can stay healthy you're going to see one heck of a football player," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said at media day when addressing the media about Tim Jamison. "That's the thing that's been part of his experience so far, and we're all hoping that this will be an injury-free year for him."

In 2006, Jamison's first injury free season since making the trek to Ann Arbor, Jamison found himself in a role backing up Lombardi award winner LaMarr Woodley. As the back up to the Wolverines top pass rusher, Jamison finished second on the team in sacks.

Now, going into 2007, Jamison is expected to see his role on the defense expand as the Wolverines retool the defense being depended on to help realize Michigan's lofty expectations.

"I've got to lead. That's my job! I'm an upper classman now so it's my job to step up and lead this time with Will Johnson," said Jamison, now a redshirt junior. "I'm excited about this year's defense. I was excited about last year's defense, but I'm even more excited about this year's team. Especially the way no one takes about us. We don't have any pressure on us at all."

Coming into 2007 under the radar isn't the lone advantage that the Michigan defense has entering the new year, however. With the return of each of the Wolverines key cogs on the offensive side of the ball, the new faces will earn their wings through fall camp, an advantage seen by Jamison and noted by Coach Carr.

"You guys say that they're supposed to be the best in the nation. You can't get any better practice than that. It's great for us because they help us get better and then we help them get better," Jamison said. ""Going against Jake Long in practice everyday, man, it doesn't get any better than that. Jake Long is the best offensive lineman in the country. That's going to just help me get better and help the rest of this defense get better."

"I think Tim Jamison is a senior who we expect to be a great leader," Carr said. "He along with Will Johnson and Shawn Crable need to lead this defense."

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