The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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������ where are they now? in the 18-17 win either, he recalled with a laugh. ���I played terrible. Terrible. I can say that now because I���m retired,��� he quipped. ���It was one of those games where you turn the film on and say, ���I played good enough for us to win.��� But I watch all those games now and look back and say, ���How was I starting at Michigan?��� ���I don���t even know how to explain it. I was very fortunate to get a second start after that.��� As often happens, Jansen learned more in his first start than probably any other game in his career. Game two featured Illinois, with future NFL defenders Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy in the front seven, and a challenge just as big. Jansen accepted it and conquered it in a 38-14 win. He was on his way. Three years later, he faced one of his biggest challenges as a captain when the injury-riddled 1998 team struggled to an 0-2 start. Many assumed the Tom Brady-led squad had no chance to repeat as Big Ten champions, but the leadership never waned. ���That���s one of the things I���m most proud about in my career, and especially of all the guys in my class that I came in with ��� Jerame Tuman, Mark Campbell, Scott Dreisbach, all those guys,��� Jansen said. ���I could go through the whole class. ���To lose to Notre Dame, lose at home to Syracuse, start out 0-2 and come back to win the rest of our games before Ohio State ��� to win a share of the Big Ten after starting off the way we In the NFL, Jansen spent 10 years in Washington after going to the Redskins in the second round of the 1999 draft and finished his career in Detroit in 2009. photo by per kjeldsen did was one of the most proud moments of my career.��� Losing to Ohio State in his last goround still stings, Jansen admitted. He and his classmates went out on a high note, nonetheless, beating Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl. Jansen���s prolific career piqued many NFL teams��� interest. He landed with the Washington Redskins as the team���s second-round pick (No. 37 overall) and spent a decade with the team before finishing his career with Detroit in 2009. Jansen became a staple in the Washington community, one of the team���s unequivocal leaders. The experience still paled in comparison to college. ���The pros are different,��� he said. ���I was there for 10 years and did get quite involved in the community, but any time money is involved and it���s a job, it���s different. You���re not living with your teammates like you are in college. You���re not around them when the horn blows at 5:00 and guys go home to their families. ���I was there for 10 years, but I had hundreds of different teammates. Not a lot of guys were there for that long. The NFL is real transient in that sense, and it���s hard to develop relationships when guys are there and gone so fast.��� Washington won the NFC East with Jansen starting at right tackle in his rookie season. His early success, though, would be one of the highlights of his career. He earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2005 when the Redskins advanced to the divisional playoffs, but he played in only four playoff games in his career. The photographic football memory, meanwhile, is reserved for Michigan. ���The biggest honor I���ve ever had in my whole life is to be elected by my teammates at Michigan to be a captain,��� he said. ���To be able to lead them through that 1997 season is by far the highlight of my football career.��� His playing days might be over, but his career in football isn���t. Jansen���s earned solid reviews in his work for the Big Ten Network and hopes to continue it for many years. ���I grew up in the Midwest. Big Ten football is what I was raised on,��� he said. ���This offers me an opportunity to get back to Michigan while I���m working, as well. I���d love to stay with the Big Ten Network and see where that takes me.��� ��� ��� The Jon Jansen File Michigan Accomplishments: Four-year letterman, 1995���98 ��� Two time first-team All- Big Ten tackle, 1997 and ���98 ��� Set a school record with 50 straight starts, all at right tackle ��� Named first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association in 1998 ��� Michigan���s co-captain as both a junior and a senior, leading the Wolverines to consecutive Big Ten titles and the 1997 national championship ��� Earned the Hugh H. Rader, Jr. Memorial Award as U-M���s top offensive lineman, 1998. Michigan Memory: Michigan might not have won a national title had it not been for a dominant 34-8 win at Penn State late in the ���97 season. ���One of the things I remember about that game was [analyst] Beano Cook saying, ���Hey, you���d better send the band because Michigan���s got no chance,������ Jansen recalled. ���From the moment that ball was kicked off, I���ve never been a part of a more dominating and a more determined effort by a team than in that game. There was no question; from the time that Glen Steele sacked the quarterback on the first or second play of the game, that game was over. It was just a matter of playing it out until the end. ���There were a lot of things we could have done better, but the feeling on that team was we were going in there to make a statement ��� a statement about Michigan football, where we were, Coach Carr. We did it.��� Professional Accomplishments: Jansen spent 10 years in Washington after going to the Redskins in the second round of the 1999 draft and finished his career in Detroit in 2009. He was second-team All-Pro in 2005 and started 123 of the 126 games he played in during his career. Current Occupation: Jansen works as an analyst for the Big Ten Network and has recently done postgame for the Detroit Lions��� radio network. Education: Jansen earned his B.S. in 1998. Family: Jansen and his wife, Martha, reside in Northern Lower Michigan with their two young daughters. October 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 85

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