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Carolina Panthers

D'Shawn Jamison looks to build off strong game against Vikings 

D'Shawn Jamison

CHARLOTTE – D'Shawn Jamison may not be a name you know in the Panthers' secondary.

But after his performance against the Vikings, D'Shawn Jamison may become a name to remember.

Jamison, an undrafted cornerback out of Texas, spent training camp and the preseason with San Francisco, found himself cut at the 53-man deadline, and arrived at Carolina off waivers on Aug. 30.

D'Shawn Jamison, Justin Jefferson

At 5-foot-9, 186 pounds, he's among the smallest on the active roster, but he showed up large against a few of Minnesota's most prominent players.

Perhaps you noticed the mammoth block Jamison threw against 6-foot-3 Kirk Cousins to pave the way for Sam Franklin Jr.'s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown, the longest such play in Panthers history.

"Great, great effort from the rook," Franklin said. "That's what you want out of any teammate – the hustle to get out there and make sure that the play gets finished."

Jamison jetted down the sideline to lay out Cousins as he charged toward Franklin near the end zone. He popped over to knock wide receiver K.J. Osborn out of the way, too.

"My first thought was to get in front of him and make sure that he gets to the end zone," he said. "My goal is to make sure my teammate gets to the touchdown. We needed points, so that was the first thought in my mind. Run, run, run.

"That was, like, the fastest I've ever ran."

Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero grinned as he recalled Jamison's hustle on the play, darting from one end zone to the other and throwing blocks to cap it off. Evero said he didn't notice how far he'd come from to get there until after the game was over.

"I didn't notice until the next day on the film, but watching him run – because he was in the end zone, and he ran about 70 yards, knocked him down and then ran another 30 yards to get somebody else," Evero said. "So it was very impressive."

Jamison's snaps surged against the Vikings when he came in for an injured Donte Jackson, as he departed the game in the first half with a shoulder injury and didn't return.

With 34 of the defense's 48 snaps (71 percent) under his belt Sunday, Jamsion played more than any corner other than CJ Henderson, as starter Jaycee Horn remains on IR since leaving the first game of the season with a hamstring injury.

Though Jamison's stat line came out meager (one tackle and one pass breakup), the pass defense against Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson was another highlight-worthy play, as he wrapped up one of the league's top pass-catchers before he could fully possess the ball and leveled him on the field. Jefferson put up 85 receiving yards against the Panthers, his lowest output of the season.

Jamison said he remained serious about his preparation while behind Jackson and alongside the other cornerbacks in the room (Troy Hill, Sam Webb, and the practice squad players).

He never knew when his time would come, but he knew it always could. And once that time did come against the Vikings, it was valuable for the rookie.

"Anything can happen on the field with anybody," Jamison said. "So throughout the whole week, I just stayed prepared, which is making sure that once I get on the field, I'm able to execute and do things right. …

"Being able to get some extra playing time really helped me a lot to see how the game really goes, how it flows and stuff. Now I'm able to go out there and play at a much faster speed and pace."

Evero spoke highly of Jamison's effort in his first month here and what they'd seen from his preseason tape with the 49ers.

"He's very, very competitive, first of all," Evero said. "So from the day he got here, in his scout team reps, on special teams, he's been competing. You always want to look for that trait in a corner. If guys are not shy of the moment, if they embrace the moment, they embrace competition. He definitely does that. He's got really good speed. He's learning the game. He's going to continue to get better in terms of just understanding NFL football, but he's just really competed. And that's what I really appreciate about him."

Jamison has been getting prepared for these moments since before he made it to Carolina.

He said league veterans in San Francisco, namely two-time first-team All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner and four-time Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle, poured into his rookie class with the 49ers. He learned a lot from them while spending time there during the offseason.

And once he got here, Jamison started asking questions to four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Justin Houstonand Jackson, which has kept him sharp and ready.

"I've learned a lot just from listening to a lot of leaders on both teams," Jamison said. "The older guys really make sure that the younger guys are up to par and able to learn and execute at practice and in the game when we get a chance.

"Just taking it all in and picking a lot of the vets' brains are some of the things I've been doing for the past several months. Any time that I get to talk to any vet, just asking him questions, wondering how everything is going with regards to the NFL and stuff, just keeping that bond and that friendship."

Jamison flashed his first few plays in the NFL, but he's ready to do more.

And he has plenty more room to grow, too.

"There's not too much I really did in the game; I just plan on making more plays," he said. "I've got a lot to learn, a lot to do, and all that's going to show."

D'Shawn Jamison

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