Former IR standout Jarmon emerges as Blue Hens’ go-to offensive weapon

NEWARK – Former two-sport Indian River High standout Jamie Jarmon’s athletic journey has taken him all across the country, but he’s back in the state of Delaware making big-time plays for the University of Delaware football squad.

Jarmon won a state championship as IR’s starting quarterback in 2011. The unbeaten Indians won the state title game 35-13 over Caravel on Dec. 3, 2011.

Just a handful of months later, he would be selected by the Texas Rangers in the second round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft.

Rather than heading to college to further his football career, he would go on to spend three years in the Rangers’ farm system. The outfielder played 91 games across three levels of the farm system (rookie league, short-season A, Advanced-A).

Jarmon leaps over one defender before front-flipping into the end zone for a Sportscenter Top 10-worthy touchdown against Richmond Oct. 21 (Special to the Sussex Post/Mark Campbell, UD Athletic Photo).

After spending the 2014 season with two different minor league teams, Jarmon made his return to the football field at the University of Delaware.

“I just kind of felt like I came to a stand-still with baseball,” Jarmon said of his move from the baseball diamond to the football field. “I had myself on a timetable and pretty much said if I wasn’t at a certain spot at a certain age, I’d go back to football. So that’s pretty much what happened.”

It would take two position changes, but Jarmon has emerged in 2017 as UD’s go-to target on offense.

“I came in as a quarterback, immediately after that switched to safety and then came over to play receiver,” he said. “This was my first time ever playing receiver, so it’s been a pretty challenging transition. But I’m a good athlete, so I’ve gotten the learning curve and I’m starting to feel more comfortable now.”

As a freshman, the quarterback-turned-safety-turned-receiver caught 12 passes for 90 yards in 10 games. He would see an increase as a sophomore last season, reeling in 14 catches for 190 yards.

In his eight games played in 2017, Jarmon is UD’s leading receiver, setting career-highs in catches (22), receiving yards (295) and touchdown receptions (5). He also has accumulated 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns for UD’s rushing attack.

“I’d probably say the biggest challenge has been the route-running and learning how to get open,” Jarmon said of the challenges facing his switch to receiver. “There’s a lot of things you don’t know – especially as a quarterback – about how challenging it is for guys to get open. It’s just about perfecting your craft and having sound technique.”

His play-making abilities were displayed to the nation in Delaware’s Oct. 21 thrilling double overtime upset victory over No. 11 Richmond.

Jarmon snags one of his three touchdowns during UD’s double OT victory over Richmond Oct. 21 (Special to the Sussex Post/Mark Campbell, UD Athletics Photo).

In the Blue Hens’ 42-35 homecoming victory, Jarmon ran for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and reeled in three catches for 41 yards and another touchdown.

His five-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter knotted the game up at 28-28, and would reach No. 2 on Sportscenter’s Top 10 plays that evening.

On the play, Jarmon took the pitch, turned the corner, leaped over one defender and landed a front flip in the end zone for the game-tying score.

“That was pretty cool. I was pretty shocked when I saw it made the No. 2 play on ESPN, so I was pretty excited about that,” he said of the play. “I had a lot of people reach out on social media, so that was cool.”

Although it’s the only one of his plays to crack the Sportscenter Top 10, the Richmond touchdown is just one of many highlight-reel plays made by Jarmon in 2017.

At 6-3 (4-2 in CAA play), Delaware has two regular season games remaining this month – UAlbany Nov. 11 and Villanova Nov. 18.

With a shot at putting up an 8-3 record this season if they win out, Jarmon believes the culture change first-year head coach Danny Rocco has implemented has a lot to do with the success.

“I feel like we get closer and closer every day,” he said. “Coach Rocco is doing a great job with preaching chemistry and everything. He did a great job with getting us all together, and it’s just been a new dynamic, a new feeling around here.”

As for Jarmon’s future? He’s just taking things one day at a time, and focusing on getting better each and every day.

“I kind of take things a day at a time and let the cards fall as they may,” he said. As a team we’re just taking it one day at a time, one game at a time, and trying to get better every day.”

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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