College Football Weekly ranked Jamar Fletcher

DJFinfan

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College Football Weekly ranked Jamar Flethcer

as the 94th best college football player ever. Here is the recap on Jamar:

Jamar Fletcher, Cornerback
Wisconsin, 1998-2000
He wasn't awe inspiring with his athleticism like Deion Sanders or Charles Woodson, and he didn't gain notoriety by returning punts and play a few snaps on offense like those two did. All Jamar Fletcher did was spend three years as the best big-play, big-game cornerback in college football. The combination of clutch interceptions in big games along with his great open field tackling abilities made him one of the great players of our time. Disagree? Ask Drew Brees or Cade McNown. While the Badgers were carried by the legs of Ron Dayne, Wisconsin wouldn't have gone to, or won, two straight Rose Bowls without him.

Yeah, he never mastered the art of self-promotion like Sanders or Woodson did making the ridiculous claim before the 2000 Sun Bowl that he had never been beaten for a touchdown in man-to-man coverage (which didn't count the times he was beaten by David Terrell and Danny Farmer when he was covering them in zone coverages), but he could woof and talk smack with the best of them and he could certainly back it up. While most tend to focus on his interception and touchdown records, we think he was amazing for his tackling. Against big-time passing teams, Wisconsin played zone coverage bending for a ton of yards, but not breaking. This meant their corners had to make tackles and no one used a 174 pound frame like Fletcher did.

The ultimate offensive defensemen: When QBs chose to throw in Fletcher's direction, they often paid dearly. Fletcher returned five interceptions for touchdowns, a Big Ten record, including game sealing picks in tight games against Purdue (twice) and UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Against Northwestern in 1999, the Badgers jumped out to a big lead but the Wildcats were getting back into the game making things interesting. A Fletcher 93-yard pick for a touchdown later ... game over.

The QBs wised up: By Fletcher's junior year, teams just refused to throw his way. All except Oregon. Duck QB Joey Harrington had said before the game that he wasn't afraid to throw the ball anywhere. Three Fletcher interceptions and five pass breakups later, the Badgers pulled out the win. After getting burned two straight years by interception returns for touchdowns, Purdue's Drew Brees only threw three of his 43 passes Fletcher's way. In man-to-man coverage, David Terrell only caught one pass in their sensational matchup in 2000.

Signature performance: With Wisconsin holding a slim three point lead in the 4th quarter following a TD run by UCLA's Jermaine Lewis in the 2000 Rose Bowl, UCLA was on the march again looking to tie up the game or even take the lead. The Fletcher made the play of the game picking off a Cade McNown pass and taking it for a touchdown to give the Badgers the winning score. Wisconsin won 38-31. Also notable was Fletcher's game-saving interception return for a touchdown that year against Purdue and Drew Brees. Brees threw a record 83 passes that day, but Fletcher sealed the win with his 52-yard TD. In 2000 against Purdue, Fletcher picked off two passes returning one 34 yards for a TD with just 4:43 to play.

Honors:

Jim Thorpe Award Winner - 2000
First Team All-American - 1999, 2000
Collegefootballnews.com All-American - 1999, 2000
First Team All-Big Ten - 1998, 1999, 2000
Led the Big Ten in interceptions for three straight years
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year - 2000
 

inFINSible

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....and to think , some people still question this pick.

Interesting that McNown would throw an int. in the biggest moment of the biggest drive of the biggest game of his career. Tell tale sign?
 

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What's amazing was that the NCAA allowed McNown to play in the 2000 Rose Bowl while he was still a Chicago Bear. :rolleyes:
 

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Here are a few more "old" Jamar Fletcher articles and other things relevant......... BTW - Jamar picked off McNown in the 1999 Rose Bowl.

Q&A with Wisconsin CB Jamar Fletcher
By Mel Kiper
ESPN.com
February 13, 2001.

Following is a question-and-answer session between Mel Kiper Jr. and Wisconsin cornerback Jamar Fletcher. A junior, Fletcher has declared for the NFL draft.
Mel Kiper Jr.: What can you bring to an NFL team?
Jamar Fletcher: A lot of excitement. I will lock down one side of the field. I will play hard for you every snap.

Kiper: Tell me about playing cornerback at Wisconsin.
Fletcher: I loved it. I played on two of the best defenses during my career. We had a lot of talent. And playing in the Big Ten, you go up against good quarterbacks and wide receivers every week. You are challenged to play your best game every Saturday.

Kiper: When was the first time you realized you could become a top-drawer cornerback at Wisconsin?
Fletcher: Midway through my redshirt freshman year. You see, I was injured the first play of the season. I hurt my ankle against San Diego State, but played through the injury the entire first half. I had an interception in that game, but couldn't go in the second half, and then I missed the next two games with the ankle injury. Once I returned, I intercepted passes and proved that I could shut down receivers week after week.
Kiper: What is your greatest asset or assets?
Fletcher: I think it is my awareness of the game. My ability to anticipate and create the game-changing play. I take a great deal of pride in the mental part of the game.

Kiper: What is your biggest weakness or area you need to improve on?
Fletcher: I'm a physical player, but you can always work on become stronger.

Kiper: Favorite NFL player -- and why?
Fletcher: Walter Payton and Deion Sanders . Walter Payton was amazing. A tremendous football player. Deion Sanders brings excitement to a defense and the entire football team.

Kiper: Because of Deion, is that the reason you wore No. 2 at Wisconsin?
Fletcher: Not necessarily. I think No. 2 is the best number. I wore it in high school as well.

Kiper: Since you can't wear No. 2 in the NFL, what number will you prefer?
Fletcher: In the NFL, probably No. 21.

Kiper: Favorite NFL team -- and why?
Fletcher: The St. Louis Rams. I'm from St. Louis and was glad to see them winning the Super Bowl two years ago. They have a lot of talented players, but need to step it up on defense.

Kiper: In five years, where do you hope to be as far as your football aspirations are concerned?
Fletcher: In the Pro Bowl at least four of my first five years. I have high expectations. I want people to look at Jamar Fletcher as "The Man." A cornerback that can't be beat.

Kiper: Biggest influence in helping you get where you are today?
Fletcher: My parents, Charles and Barbara Fletcher. They've always been there for me. They look out for me and have my best interest at heart.

Kiper: What are your thoughts about Wisconsin and head coach Barry Alvarez?
Fletcher: I love the university and the football program. The fans at Wisconsin are great. They are the best. I really love the atmosphere. Coach Alvarez is a great coach and motivator. More importantly, though, he's a great person.

Kiper: When all is said and done, how do you want people to remember Jamar Fletcher?
Fletcher: As a great cornerback. One of the best ever.

Kiper: Tell me about your high school days on the athletic field.
Fletcher: I played a lot of positions in football. I was a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and also returned punts and kickoffs. I was a point guard on the basketball team. And in track, I ran hurdles and also participated in the relays.

Kiper: Is there a particular NFL team you would like to play for?
Fletcher: I want to go to a team where I can go in and play right away. I want to start making a name for myself as a difference-maker.

Kiper: How would you feel if you were chosen by a cold-weather team?
Fletcher: I wouldn't be affected. I've dealt with it here at Wisconsin. Plus, I'm from St. Louis.

Kiper: Tell me about your approach to the game of football.
Fletcher: I have a lot of fun playing the game. I really enjoy showcasing my skills. It's the game I've always played. I understand what it takes to perform at a high level week after week. I play the game with a great deal of intensity. I also study the game. I look at formations, tendencies of the opposition. Anything I can do to get an edge.

Kiper: What is your accurate height, weight, 40 time, and other measureables?
Fletcher: I'm 5-foot-10, 181 pounds. I plan on running in the 4.38 to 4.42 range and my vertical jump is right at 40 inches.

Kiper: Tell me about any injuries you have had to deal with throughout your football career.
Fletcher: Outside of the ankle injury early on during my redshirt freshman season, I've been at full strength throughout my career. I consider myself to be a very durable football player.

Kiper: Take me through a play, from the standpoint of what you're thinking about as a cornerback.
Fletcher: Initially, I look at the formation, then focus on the receiver, and also stare at the quarterback to let him know that I'm ready to create a big play. In press coverage, I get my hands on the receiver, trying to lock him out. Then, I'm on his hip. I'll slap him on his hands, doing anything to get on a receiver's nerves. I try to read the route. At cornerback, it's all about feel. If he's leaning on you or raises up, you can figure where he's going to go with the route. I'm always trying to anticipate what's happening, then focus on coming away with the interception whenever the situation presents itself. And when I get the chance for the interception, I don't drop passes. I have great hands. When the ball is in the air, I consider it mine.

WORD ASSOCIATION with JAMAR FLETCHER:
Football: "I love it."


University of Wisconsin: "The best."

Family: "No. 1 in my heart and in my life."

Life: "A blessing. I feel blessed to be in the position I'm in."

Winning: "Unforgettable."

Losing: "I get real upset when this happens."

NFL: "A great opportunity."

Jamar Fletcher: "The best cornerback in years."


Toughest player faced: "Michigan wide receiver David Terrell. He's
just like me. He goes hard on every play. He never lets up. That's
exactly the way I play the game. He's also very physical. He has
all the tools."

Best memory: "The first day I stepped on the University of Wisconsin campus."

Worst memory: "The falling snow when I'm walking to class."
 
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Muck

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CBS Sportsline.com (had to cut out the stats and measureables)

Jamar Fletcher, Wisconsin
Cornerback, 5-9, 180
Speed: 4.48, Rating: 89


Lightning-quick junior athlete has been one of the premier cornerbacks in the nation since his freshman season. Fletcher has been a three-time All-Big 10 performer while leading the conference each season in interceptions. He set Big 10 records for career interception yardage with 459 and TDs with five in only three seasons. Two of those scores came on picks of Purdue's QB Drew Brees as a freshman and sophomore. Brees threw only three passes Fletcher's way out of 43 thrown during their game last season.

Fletcher is a smallish, compact corner with a gambling style that has allowed him to make big plays throughout his career. He completed his career with an erratic performance against UCLA in the Sun Bowl. He was toasted by Bruins wideout Freddie Mitchell several times in coverage for big plays. He finished the game, though, with a victory-clinching interception that sealed another Badger bowl win. He has quick footwork that allows him to turn fast and retain top speed in and out of his cuts. He lacks the size NFL scouts seek in a prospect and checked in at the combine at just under 5-foot-9 but did not participate in the workout.

He has fine ball skills with uncanny anticipation that allows him to jump routes and make big plays in the other direction. He is quick to plant and drive on the play with the hands of a wide receiver. During the '00 season, he made 34 tackles, seven interceptions, 21 PBUs and earned the coveted Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back. His pass breakups is an impressive number when you consider that clubs threw away from him most of the season. That allowed teammate Mike Echols to lead the Big 10 with 25 PBUs.

Fletcher had strong efforts against Michigan's David Terrell, Minnesota's Ron Johnson and Ohio State's Ken-yon Rambo. He limited Terrell to one reception in the matchup of the year. He opened the season on the sidelines as part of the team-wide suspension due to an NCAA suspension. He played his first game against Oregon and picked off three passes of highly-rated QB Joey Harrington in the Badgers' big victory.

He has good leaping skills that will come in handy in matchups with big receivers. He will have to utilize all his talents against the bigger NFL receivers such as Randy Moss and Keyshawn Johnson. He has outstanding hands that have allowed him to be a top interceptor and he has flexible hips and the quick burst to the ball to break up plays. He has the quick hands and functional strength to play bump-and-run, but he played off a good portion of his career in the coverage schemes.

He shows very good instincts and a gambling style that usually allows him to make big plays. He can get burnt playing that style as he did in the Sun Bowl game. He usually reads plays and anticipate routes very well, giving him a chance to make the game-changing play. He does bite on play action at times, but has the speed and sudden speed to recover. His recovery speed is outstanding, displaying a burst to the ball to make up yardage. He is a sure tackler, though he would benefit from further strength work. He is a very athletic defender with the speed, quickness and athleticism to a complete NFL cover man. He gets a very good break on the ball, combining a quick burst to the ball with outstanding recovery speed.

He ran a sub 4.4 in a private workout. He is one of the premier ball hawks in recent years and an early starter in the NFL, most likely as a rookie. He is similar to the Ravens' Duane Starks in size, speed, athleticism and overall ability. He has all the tools to be an outstanding pro with only his short stature a liability. Blue-chip corner with big-play ability. Future Pro-bowler.

Draft Projection: First Round
 

VanDolPhan

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Re: College Football Weekly ranked Jamar Flethcer

Originally posted by DJFinfan
While most tend to focus on his interception and touchdown records, we think he was amazing for his tackling. Against big-time passing teams, Wisconsin played zone coverage bending for a ton of yards, but not breaking. This meant their corners had to make tackles and no one used a 174 pound frame like Fletcher did.

No wonder the phins picked up this guy. Sounds like he played in a similar defensive scheme!
 

DJFinfan

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InFin the ppl think we were crazy for taking Fletch last year since we were already strong at the corners with PS and SM most think that another SB contender, the Eagles, should be thrown out of the league for drafting 3 this year to go with their shut down corners of Troy and Bobby. The Eagles needed O weapons but realize that more and more teams are playing a spread offense and teams can not have to many quality Corners and Safties.
 

inFINSible

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Originally posted by DJFinfan
InFin the ppl think we were crazy for taking Fletch last year since we were already strong at the corners.


:confused: :confused: why are you telling me this?
 

baccarat

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Check out the quote in my signature. Fletcher will have a great sophmore year. :D
 

Blitz

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We didn't know Cousin would be as good as he was last year when we picked up Fletcher.

I love the pick. The guy played great in college, and he seems to be real serious about having a good season this year...
 

Dolfan984

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Heh, man he didn't fit the hype last year for sure. I think he'll be a good one though.

"Kiper: In five years, where do you hope to be as far as your football aspirations are concerned?
Fletcher: In the Pro Bowl at least four of my first five years. I have high expectations. I want people to look at Jamar Fletcher as "The Man." A cornerback that can't be beat. "

4 out of 5 years? Not on this team buddy :)
 

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Kiper: What is your biggest weakness or area you need to improve on?
Fletcher: I'm a physical player, but you can always work on become stronger.

He should have answered hiring my brother in law as my agent. I love what I am hearing about his work ethic, and I hope he has a break out year. After reading his interveiw was I the only one that got the idea that Miami was the last place he wanted to go?
 

Muck

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Fletcher will probably be a starter here in a few years. Madison or Surtain will likely be a salary cap casualty. Ideally, Madison would stay over Surtain. But it will come down to who has more left in the tank to play at an optimal level of play.
 
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