Who is the most underrated Lions’ player of the Wayne Fontes’ era? On this NFL Sunday week two edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we pay tribute to a former USFL linebacker who remains the only player in franchise history to win defensive and special teams MVP honors during their career.
86. George Jamison
Outside Linebacker. 1987-93, 1997-98 Detroit; 1994-96 Kansas City Chiefs
One of the most underrated linebackers in recent Detroit history, Jamison came to the Lions by way of the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars. He was the Lions second-round selection in the 1984 supplemental draft, which was held to select players who were eligible to be drafted but remained under contract with other professional leagues. When the USFL folded, after their anti-trust suit against the NFL was smashed in federal court, Jamison came to the Lions.
The 6-foot-1, 232 pounder played as a reserve linebacker in 1987, registering 1 sack and his only career safety. In 1988, Jamison moved into the starting lineup. He tied for the team lead in interceptions that season with 3, returning them for a total of 56 yards and a score. He would also return a fumble for a touchdown and record 5.5 sacks. In addition, he would be named the Lions 1988 special teams MVP. Jamison gave another all-around performance in 1991, winning Lion defensive MVP honors by intercepting 3 passes and recording 4 sacks while helping the Lions to a 12-4 record and a birth in the NFC Championship Game.
Jamison would leave Detroit via free-agency, for a three year stint with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1994-96. He would return to Motown in ‘97 and play his final two NFL seasons with the Lions. To date, Jamison is the only player in franchise history to win both the Lion special teams and defensive MVP awards during their career.