Holds down place-kicking assignment for Irish heading into '99 . . . ranks sixth in Notre Dame history with 22 career field goals . . . coming off solid '98 campaign in which he connected on 11 of 15 field-goal attempts . . . displayed much greater consistency a year ago compared to previous seasons . . . ranked as only experienced returnee in place-kicking department for Notre Dame coming into '98 . . . graduation of veteran Scott Cengia and injury-induced retirement of Kevin Kopka left him as top name on Irish list . . . played major role in both '96 and '97 and upgraded those contributions in '98.
AS A JUNIOR: Irish place-kicker throughout '98 campaign . . . ranked second on Irish team in scoring with 64 points . . . an All-Independents selection by Football News . . . made 51 regular-season special team appearances while kicking field goals and PATs . . . hit all three of his field-goal attempts vs. Michigan for first nine Notre Dame points, connecting from 32, 27 and 32 yards . . . connected on game-winner from 17 yards out vs. Purdue with 57 seconds remaining to give Irish comeback 31-30 win . . . knocked through game-winning and career-long 48-yarder vs. Army with 1:06 remaining to give Irish 20-17 win . . . named NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Army . . . connected from 32 and 21 vs. Baylor . . . played in every game but USC in '98 . . . made four more special-team appearances in '99 Gator Bowl vs. Georgia Tech.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Irish place-kicker to start '97 campaign . . . selected week prior to Georgia Tech opener to handle all kicking chores . . . kicked 45-yard field goal to open scoring vs. Stanford for longest Irish three-pointer since Kevin Pendergast's 47-yarder vs. Florida State in '93 . . . made five of his 10 field-goal attempts, including boots vs. Georgia Tech, Purdue, Stanford, Pittsburgh and USC . . . handled kickoffs only beginning with Boston College game . . . made 74 overall special team appearances during regular season.
AS A FRESHMAN: Took over top placekicking job midway through '96 opener vs. Vanderbilt . . . connected on field goals from 33 and 32 yards and booted two of his three kickoffs into the end zone (one for touchback) . . . became hero of Texas win, thanks to game-winning 39-yard field goal as time expired that provided for 27-24 Irish win over sixth-rated Longhorns . . . ranked third in scoring in '96 with his 57 points . . . put 17 of his 61 kickoffs into the end zone (not counting two squibs) and another two reached the goal line . . . also hit field goals against Ohio State and Air Force.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Earned Arizona all-state honors as defensive back as senior in '95, intercepting two passes . . . rated one of top 50 players nationally on preseason basis by Street & Smith's . . . earned three letters in football as wingback, free safety and kicker at St. Mary's High School in Phoenix . . . captain of team as senior . . . caught 50 passes for 801 yards and nine TDs and rushed for 350 yards and four TDs . . . scored 346 career points as a kicker and kicked four field goals from longer than 50 yards . . . two-time all-state honors as kicker . . . kicked 52-yarder in '95, with career best of 58 vs. Westwood which was longest in the country in '94 . . . connected on six of 10 field-goal attempts in '95 while making 91 percent of kickoffs touchbacks . . . hit 12 of 18 field goals (including 10 of 40 yards or more) and 45 of 47 PATs as junior in '94 . . . career numbers include 22 of 38 field goals, 142 of 155 PATs, 80 catches for 1,120 yards and 12 TDs . . . helped team to 14-0 mark and Arizona 5A state title in '95 . . . caught 10 passes for 168 yards and two TDs in '95 state title game . . . two-time all-region and all-valley selection . . . combined to connect on field goals from 48, 46 and 44 yards in one game . . . scored 27 points in one game, with three TDs, two field goals and three PATs . . . selected for Arizona North-South all-star game . . . earned three letters in baseball as shortstop and second baseman . . . a .458 hitter as junior . . . captain of baseball team as junior and senior . . . from same high school as former Irish quarterback Steve Belles . . . father Jim played football at UTEP . . . born 9-16-77 in Phoenix . . . second youngest of three children . . . full name is James Allan Sanson . . . enrolled in College of Arts and Letters with major in economics.
G-GS Time FGs PATs Pts. 1996 11-0 - 6-9 39-45 57 1997 12-0 - 5-10 15-16 30 1998 10-0 - 11-15 31-36 64 TOTAL 32-0 - 22-34 85-97 151
Sanson Game By Game
1996 Game FGs Missed FGs Made Vanderbilt None 32,33 Purdue 30 None Texas None 20,39 Ohio State None 26 Washington None None Air Force 42 27 Navy None None Boston College None None Pittsburgh 33 None Rutgers None None USC None None
1997 Game FGs Missed FGs Made Georgia Tech 25 28 Purdue None 34 Michigan State None None Michigan None None Stanford 44 45 Pittsburgh None 22 USC 45,34,33 27 Boston College None None Navy None None LSU None None West Virginia None None Hawaii None None 1997 Independence Bowl LSU None None
1998 Game FGs Missed FGs Made Michigan None 32,27,32 Michigan State None 32 Purdue 45 17 Stanford None None Arizona State None None Army 48 39,48 Baylor None 32,21 Boston College None 31 Navy None 37 LSU 42 (blocked), 27 None USC None None 1999 Gator Bowl Georgia Tech 44 None
The Jim Sanson File
- The Irish offensive player who will surprise people this year is Joey Goodspeed
- The Irish defensive player who will surprise people this year is The whole defense
- The sports teams I followed when I was younger were The Brookville Wildcats and Oswego Panthers
- A word to describe me on the field is Confident
- A word to describe me off the field is Relaxed
- Other than Notre Dame Stadium, my favorite college stadium in which to play football is Michigan Stadium
- The area I would like to improve as a football player is Running on the field
- If I could play another position on the other side of the ball it would be Safety
- My greatest personal athletic moment was When Dan O'Leary became my snapper
- If I could compete against any Notre Dame athlete (non-football), it would be The cheerleading squad
- The people who have helped me the most since I've been at Notre Dame are My parents, sisters - Kim, Kristi, Katie, Kara Maldonado and Coach Kirk Doll
- The top three teams in college football this year will be Notre Dame, Florida State and Tennessee