June 5, 2011

Ramsey talks camp, Vols' offer

A week ago, it was the University of Kentucky camp. Today, it was Derek Dooley's University of Tennessee camp.

In both of them, Jalen Ramsey made sure he battled the best competition. In both instances, the 5-foot-11, 179-pound Nashville product seemingly left a lasting impression. Interacting with the Volunteers' coaches for the second time less than two weeks following a recent unofficial visit and Sunday's camp, Ramsey learned today he's got a verbal scholarship offer from Tennessee. The blossoming 2013 defensive back prospect also picked up a Kentucky offer Sunday as well.

"(Coach Dooley) just told me that he was going to offer me, and to enjoy my season, have a good junior season," said Ramsey, who first began to garner attention this spring with a standout performance at a Nike event in Atlanta. "He just told me that I'm still young, to enjoy this and keep working hard.

"Basically, that's it. And, that Tennessee's offering."

Flashing the competitiveness that is coming to mark his personality in the camp settings, Ramsey recognizes the offer, in part, likely stems from the last play of Sunday's event. After challenging the event's top receiver, Ramsey recalls delivering in the clutch.

"It was the last play. I called out one of their receivers, and I asked (UT secondary coach Terry) Joseph to make sure I got to go up against that receiver," Ramsey explained. "I didn't know his name. When we were doing drills, he was talking about how he had 20 offers and an offer from UT. I saw him catch a couple balls.

"So I asked coach Joseph, it was the last play, and I played press coverage. He tried to bully me off the line, but I didn't let him get inside, I had to kind of spin and turn, recover and I got the interception. Post (route), and I beat him on the inside."

While that play was the highlight, it wasn't atypical of Ramsey's performance. Just as he effectively pitched a shutout a week ago in Nashville at the In Full Motion Saturday Night Lights Camp, he also was very dominant on this day.

"My competitiveness (is a key attribute); I didn't get any balls caught on me," Ramsey said. "I'm not sure how many times I went, but I was close to getting a couple more interceptions that I couldn't haul in so they were bat-downs. Overall, I think I did pretty well."

Though he didn't grow up a fan of any particular program, Ramsey lists Devin Hester as his favorite player and admires the tenacious way a variety of former Miami Hurricanes players work on defense. But Ramsey has been equally appreciative of the time he's gotten with Joseph, first on an unofficial visit to Rocky Top in late-May and then at the camp.

"That was great. I got to go out and work with (Joseph) one-on-one because I got there early. He talked about my length and my long stride, told me drop my butt in breakdown and make sure I have shorter strides. I tried to apply the technique he had shown me on my visit at camp today and thought I did pretty well on everything," Ramsey said. "I value his opinion a lot because he's a college coach, and he's the DB coach, which is what I play, so I try to take those techniques he tells me and add them to my athletic abilities to be a better corner."

Consistently running around a 4.51-4.60 40-yard dash with an average vertical leap of 40 inches, Ramsey on Sunday clocked an impressive 4.2 in the important three-cone agility drill, a mere .3 off his personal best.

Ramsey also left UT's campus with an open invitation from the Vols' coaches.

"They said I can come up any time the rest of the summer on an unofficial visit so we can see everything we didn't get to see, where players stay at," Ramsey said, "and to make sure I get to a game this year. So I may try to do that."

A 2013 prospect who missed last season due to injury, Ramsey already has three Division I scholarship offers --- Arkansas State is the other one --- and is transferring this season from Ensworth to Brentwood Academy, where he's already participating four days a week at 6:30 a.m. for workouts and conditioning.

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