If you told Jamarca Sanford to run through a plate glass window at the IPF and that would ensure a Rebel victory, get ready for falling glass.
Whatever the team needs, he's willing to do. That's the way he was "raised" at South Panola High School and that's what he has always brought to the table at Ole Miss.
His excitability and intensity for the game of football has been well-documented on these pages many times. His unselfishness has been overlooked.
"Jamarca hasno hesitation to do whatever anyone asks him to do. The proof of that is him playing as an undersized linebacker part of last year," said DB Coach Chris Rippon. "He jumped in without a second thought and did a really good job in a position where he was out of his comfort zone. That tells you a lot about his makeup."
But doing whatever it takes and doing what you prefer are two different animals. Jamarca is now doing whatever it takes at a position he prefers - strong safety. He was moved back to his warm bed and familiar surroundings of SS when spring training began.
"Football is football, but I love strong safety. That's where I'm comfortable. I played linebacker for the team, but my heart and mind are at strong safety," said the bowed-up junior. "At safety, you get to do it all. Run support, coverage, safety blitzes - I think you get a lot of chances to make big plays there."
Jamarca thinks it helped him as a safety to get some experience at linebacker.
"I learned a lot more about the defense. I got to see the defense from a different angle and that always helps. I started seeing things more than individual assignments - I started getting the whole picture. I think the linebacker experience makes me a better all-around player," he explained.
Jamarca is the "old guy" back there now, a new role for him.
"I have to pay more attention now," he laughed. "Before, Charles (Clark) made the checks and defensvie calls. Charles knew everything there was to know so I relied on him. Now, I'm one of the guys all the young guys are counting on and looking to. It's different, but I'm ready for it. I'm more focused now."
Sanford said he tried to work on "everything" in spring.
"There really wasn't one area I was concentrating on. I just wanted to become a better and more complete player. I think I got that done, but there's always more work to be done," Sanford added. "Coach Rip and Coach Thompson and I have worked on everything."
Sanford said there will be more deception, in layman's terms, in the secondary next year.
"We use more disguises in our coverages now. We give a certain look and jump into something else. I like that. I like showing one thing and doing something else. It creates some confusion and gives you an advantage," Jamarca stated.
Sanford understands the secondary will have some "new" guys this year. He also understands there will be no more Patrick Willis around to help their cause, but he's optimistic about the Rebel defense for 2007.
"I know our front will be better. I think our secondary might be more athletic. And I like the progress the linebackers made in spring. I like the things we are doing. I think we will surprise people in the fall," he closed.
And you can place your bet in Vegas right now. Jamarca Sanford will be in the middle of the action, doing it for the team.
Jamarca Sanford update -
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