Playing at a new position, Jamerson making an impact in yet another way

Natrell Jamerson has moved over to safety for the first time in his career at UW. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Against Northwestern, in just his fourth-ever start at safety for the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (2-0 Big Ten, 4-0 overall), senior Natrell Jamerson recorded his first career interception in the second quarter.

He would grab interception number two a couple of hours later, this time managing to stay upright for longer as he rumbled for a 36-yard touchdown, effectively ending the game.

“I knew as soon as he got the ball to him he was gone,” said redshirt junior inside linebacker T.J Edwards of his teammate’s return. “He’s a guy who’s tough to stop with the ball in his hands.”

But if you asked Jamerson or his teammates about the most important play of the day, they would bring up something different. Something far less glamorous that didn’t end in a celebration, but instead set up the Badgers’ defense to succeed after Northwestern had silenced Camp Randall and cut the lead to seven.

“I think ‘Trell made the play of the game with that catch inside the five,” senior safety D’Cota Dixon said of Jamerson downing Anthony Lotti’s punt with 1:09 remaining in the contest. “And that’s how we were able to get the safety.”

Despite his elevation to a starting role this season, Jamerson remains one of the Badgers’ most important special teams players, gunning down punts alongside senior cornerback Derrick Tindal.

“They don’t necessarily get the spotlight,” Dixon said of the Badgers’ special teamers. “It’s the little details of them doing their job. Trell was able to get down there and make sure he found the ball, and keep it inside and pin it.”

Jamerson’s performance Saturday, where he flashed his ability to read a quarterback, run in the open field and cover punts all in the same 60 minutes, can be viewed as a microcosm for the sort of swiss army knife role he has played for Wisconsin over the years.

Before moving to safety this season, Jamerson served as a cornerback, kickoff returner and wide receiver, using his diverse skill set to help the Badgers in a plethora of ways.

His hard work the past three years has seemingly resulted in a promotion, as Jamerson has started more games this season, four, than all of the others combined, two.

Still, it seems the Ocala, Fla., native has no plans to stop helping Wisconsin in a variety of ways.

“We have a great group of guys who wanna contribute in all phases of the game,” Edwards said. “I’m sure some defensive guys would play offense if they could.”

That type of well-rounded effort will be needed to pound out a victory this weekend at Nebraska (2-0, 3-2), as the Badgers will travel to Lincoln looking to seize control of the Big Ten West.

The Cornhuskers have opened their conference schedule with comfortable victories against Rutgers and Illinois, but the Badgers’ defense will hope to give fits to their redshirt junior quarterback Tanner Lee, who recently transferred to Nebraska and has thrown nine interceptions in just five games.

It will be an opportunity for Jamerson to continue his solid play, and maybe even get his hands on the ball, like he did versus Northwestern.

He’ll be miles and miles away from the home fans in Madison, but ultimately, he won’t care too much.

An interception is no less satisfying in the thick of enemy territory.

“Great plays, they don’t come around just any play,” Jamerson said. “So any time someone makes a good play, celebrate with them, congratulate them and just get it on.”

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