Lampman leading team in receiving after missing most of last season

LAMPMAN: Ferris State University senior wide receiver Jake Lampman (front) looks for running room against Northern Michigan University on Saturday at the Superior Dome. (Ferris State Athletics photo/Kevin McDermott)

LAMPMAN: Ferris State University senior wide receiver Jake Lampman (front) looks for running room against Northern Michigan University on Saturday at the Superior Dome. (Ferris State Athletics photo/Kevin McDermott)

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State University receiver Jake Lampman figured his collegiate football career might be over last season after suffering a shoulder injury in the team’s third game.

The senior, who had led the Bulldogs in receiving in 2012 and 2013, remained on the sidelines during the season for moral support, but he did not know if he would ever see the field again.

However, Lampman was granted a medical redshirt and was able to return for a fifth season.

“When it first happened, I really had to sit down and talk with my family and coaches and the trainers to see if I could play or not,” Lampman said. “Then the medical redshirt came up, and as soon as I heard that, it was a little more comforting because I knew I was going to be able to come back again and be a part of a really special team. Last year, the fact we were continuing to win was definitely helpful, too, so just to be there for mental support for everyone, it turned my whole mindset around to be here for something bigger than me. That was cool to be a part of it and it kind of took my mind off everything.”

Lampman has not missed a beat this season, leading the 9-0 Bulldogs in receiving yards (630) and receiving touchdowns (seven). He also has 96 rushing yards and four scores.

“Last year, I said it was a blessing in disguise,” Lampman said of his injury. “To be able to come back out here with these guys that I came in with five years ago, it’s almost was like nothing has changed. It’s fun to be a part of it and I’m happy to be here.”

Nobody is more pleased to have Lampman back than senior quarterback Jason Vander Laan.

“When we found out he had a medical redshirt, it was a huge plus,” Vander Laan said. “He’s one of the leaders on the team, one of my best friends, my roommate. He works incredibly hard. I think he’s one of the best receivers in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. One of his underrated skills is how well he blocks. He has great hands, great speed and is just an all-around great player. He has had a tremendous impact on our team.”

Lampman has been one of Vander Laan’s favorite targets the past three years. After receiving minimal playing time in 2011, the receiver stepped into a starting role in 2012. He caught 43 passes for 717 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games.

Lampman had 542 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2013, and had 14 receptions for 216 yards and five touchdowns in just three games last season.

This year, he has three games with 90 or more receiving yards, including a season-high 114 yards and eight receptions in a 49-39 win over Northern Michigan University on Saturday.

“It has gotten better every year,” Vander Laan said of the duo’s on-the-field chemistry. “Throughout the summer, he never missed one of our workouts and we were always throwing together. When you’re around a guy that much, you get a feel for each other and it helps my confidence grow in him.”

Lampman also has had a major impact on the other receivers, even when he was injured last year. Three other players have more than 300 receiving yards this season: senior Antonio Agurs (530), junior Jamel Lockett (399) and sophomore Jajuan Pollock (330).

“He’s one of the most unselfish guys on the team,” Vander Laan said of Lampman. “He traveled with us to all of our away games and is always there helping the younger guys because he’s been in the system for four years, so he know what was going on. He basically was a coach on the field.”

The Bulldogs host Walsh College (2-7) at noon on Saturday at Top Taggart Field.

SPORTS BRIEFS

NCAA BASKETBALL

Michigan State 93, Ferris State 57

EAST LANSING — The Spartans defeated the Bulldogs in an exhibition game Monday at the Breslin Center.

Senior wing Josh Fleming led FSU with 15 points, while sophomore wing Noah King scored nine points. Senior Jared Stolicker had a team-high seven rebounds.

Bryn Forbes led the Spartans with 16 points, while Denzel Valentine added 15 points.

Gavin Schilling scored 12 points.

The Bulldogs begin regular season action on Saturday at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and open GLIAC play Dec. 3 against Lake Erie College.

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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