On Wednesday, the Texas Longhorns are inking one of the most talented defensive back classes in history and among the crop of elite prospects is Houston Lamar cornerback D’shawn Jamison.
D'Shawn Jamison is officially a Longhorn. Jamison ranks #87 in the ESPN 300. pic.twitter.com/GZSZu7ny6S— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) December 20, 2017
A four-star talent, Jamison chose the Longhorns on Oct. 14 over a top five that also included TCU, Oregon, USC, and Michigan, and collectively, Nike The Opening finalists sided with Texas over 30 other offers.
An Under Armour All-American, Jamison’s versatility paved the way for his rise to becoming the nation’s No. 101 player and No. 14 cornerback.
A 5’10, 174-pound prospect, Jamison is nothing short of an elite athlete with a verified 4.48 laser 40-yard dash, 3.9-second shuttle and a 36.7-inch vertical leap. Package that with his instinctive ability in the secondary and you get a talent that should see the field early and often throughout his freshman season.
Despite Texas losing junior defensive backs DeShon Elliott and fellow Houston Lamar product Holton Hill to the NFL, Jamison’s first efforts as a Longhorn will quite likely come on special teams. In fact, when Texas opens up next season on the road against Maryland, if the ‘Horns receive the ball first, Jamison may make his debut on the very first play of the season.
An electric kick and punt returner, Jamison torched special teams units throughout his varsity career, and did so as a senior to the tune of seven total scores. Jamison displays an ideal combination of patience, explosion and the ability to make defenders miss and thus, something out of nothing.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jamison plays much bigger than his 5’10 size, as he provided Lamar with an aggressive, hard-hitting option opposite of five-star cornerback Anthony Cook. Furthermore, as Texas aims to find its secondary of the future, Jamison’s versatility will surely be tested. Recruited as a nickelback, Jamison brings a safety-esque mentality to the position and can play at position in the secondary.
"The growth he's shown this year speaks to his commitment during the offseason to be a better leader on and off the field,” Lamar defensive backs coach Theadis Reagins previously told Burnt Orange Nation. “He's grown in areas such as film study, technique in playing the cornerback position, and he's gotten stronger in the weight room. The scary part is he has grown so much from his time as a freshman and yet his upside is endless."
"With his ability to play multiple positions in the secondary, and the value he brings to the return game/special teams, he has the talents to contribute right away," Reagins added.
247Sports provided another evaluation of Jamison’s expansive skillset.
“D'Shawn Jamison is an aggressive defensive back prospect who pairs cornerback size with safety mentality. Primarily played safety and nickel as a sophomore, when he also occasionally lined up as a linebacker. Undersized for those positions, but frame potential is adequate for cornerback as he projects to college. Sound tackler who will both wrap up and provide the big hit. Outstanding athleticism with laser-verified 4.48 speed in the 40, a blistering 3.90-second shuttle, and an almost 37-inch vertical. Good pass-rusher in blitzing situations. Excellent closing speed in downhill pursuit as well as chase-and-tackle situations. Bigger receivers could be a problem once Jamison moves full-time to corner, but physical nature and leaping ability will help him. Will need to acclimate to coverages as a full-time corner since much of his experience so far is at other spots in the back seven. However, Jamison has a lot of potential thanks to rare athleticism and a willingness to mix it up with anybody. He will be a Power Five-caliber recruit and possibly one of the top DB's in TXHSFB.”
With the Longhorns secondary losing Hill, Elliott, Jason Hall, Antwaun Davis and possibly Kris Boyd following the season and P.J. Locke, fellow Lamar product John Bonney and Davante Davis after 2018, Jamison will arrive as part of a secondary class that will soon compete for starting roles.
The eye test says when that time comes, Jamison should find himself playing far more often than watching.