April 18, 2012

Ramsey looks ahead

KINGSLAND - For Camden County coach Jeff Herron, the first time he saw quarterback Brice Ramsey qualifies as one of those 'I remember when' moments that typically come around just a handful of times in a person's life.

Herron remembers it like it was yesterday.

"The first time I saw him, he was probably a fourth or fifth grade kid. Actually, his grandfather had told me that morning - we were having a youth camp - and he said 'I brought your quarterback to camp.' I'm like, OK,'" Herron recalled. "He was like, 'No, I brought your 'future' quarterback or something to that effect."

Leaning back in his chair inside the school's athletic office, Herron laughed that it didn't take long to see that Ramsey's grandfather wasn't pulling his leg.

"We had gone out there and had a little practice with all these little kids. I remember we were playing a little game; he (Ramsey) was running around and immediately you could just see," Herron said. "Even at that age, he was just different. He was doing a great job leading; he had unbelievable physical skills, and he was bigger than everybody else. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see he had the goods."

It didn't take coaches from some big-time college programs long to take notice, either.

Georgia was one of the first ones who did, electing to offer Ramsey shortly after his sophomore year, before receiving his commitment at last summer's Dawg Night in Athens.

But just because Ramsey professes to be "All Dawg," that doesn't mean other school haven't tried to get him to change his mind.

If Ramsey thought committing early would solve some of those issues, he was sadly mistaken.

"It hasn't relaxed at all," Ramsey said during an interview at Camden High. "Schools till come at you, and probably still will until you actually sign."

Some of the biggest names in the sport continue to give it a shot, among them Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, both of whom have traveled to the south Georgia town to have a face-to-face with 6-foot-3 QB with the rifle for a right arm.

"It's eye-opening to think all these schools would want you as an athlete," Ramsey said. "Just knowing how these people are, hearing them say how they want you at their school … it's hard to say (no). But it's good to have the interest from all of them."

Their message, Ramsey added, is basically the same.

"Playing time - that's the main pitch," Ramsey said. "They'll talk about their needs at the position - need, need, need."

Ramsey admits he'll take his five official visits this fall, including one, of course, to Georgia.

"I want to see some of these schools that have offered but I've never been to, just to see what they're all about," he said. "I might as well take advantage of them, see some good games."

But don't worry Georgia fans; Ramsey is all Dawg.

During Tuesday's interview, Ramsey wore his red Georgia T-shirt, and spoke with great anticipation about his plans to enroll early at Georgia and be able to compete for early playing time in the spring.

"I'm going to graduate and enroll early so I think that will give me a good chance. I just want to go there and compete," Ramsey said. "I'm a real competitive guy. I just want to go there and compete, and at least give myself the opportunity to try and get that position in the fall."

Ramsey also put to rest what was one of the Internet's bigger rumors that he was somehow upset with the Bulldogs for signing quarterback Faton Batau to last year's class.

He said that could not be further from the truth.

"It was never a big deal, because either way it wasn't going to change how I felt about Georgia," Ramsey said. "It didn't sway my decision at all, because either way I'm going there and compete."

Ramsey also offered up his take on good friend and fellow Bulldog commit Derrick Henry, who some have wondered whether or not is considering other schools, like Georgia rival Tennessee.

According to Ramsey, Dawg fans have nothing to fear.

"I think he is (solid to Georgia), honestly," Ramsey said. "He's going around to see what else is out there and I can't fault him for that. He's 100 percent still."

As for Ramsey, Herron said "100 percent" is the only gear his quarterback knows how to go, although there is one part of his game he feels could improve.

"He's always had tunnel vision. He wants to do and he's willing to work to get to that point. Brice is a very laid-back kid," Herron said. "I've told him at times he's got to be better than that and he needs to be more assertive as a quarterback. But while he may have that laid-back personality, he's very focused on what he's trying to get done. He's always been that way. It's a good trait to have as a quarterback."

Herron credits Ramsey's parents for that.

"He's got great parents who have pushed him. You always hear about parents pushing their kids too much, but his weren't like that," he said. "They pushed him, but they pushed him in the right direction, the right way. They've helped him get to this point as much as anybody."

Herron added they've helped make him the competitor he is, a fact that becomes evident when Ramsey talks about his final season with the Wildcats.

Thanks to reclassification, Camden County is leaving a weak Region 3-AAAAA for Region I-AAAAAA, which includes the likes of Valdosta, Lowndes, Tift County, Coffee County, Brunswick and Colquitt County.

"It's a big motivating factor knowing we'll be in the SEC of high school football over there," Ramsey said. "We know we're going to have to be ready."