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May 17, 2012

Ramsey making huge strides as QB

(Interview/highlights from the Orlando Elite 11 - March 2011)

NIEBUHR'S LATEST: Carter offer | Gators get Hawkins

Tramel Terry, a four-star receiver from Goose Creek (S.C.), has spotted something in Brice Ramsey's throwing mechanics that most people probably wouldn't pick up. Then again, Terry has played catch with the highly touted quarterback a lot during the past year.

"Brice throws with his right hand," Terry explained. "But when he finishes, if he has four fingers up with his left hand it's always a tight spiral. I told him that I noticed that with his left hand, and he was like, 'Yeah, dude, I've noticed that, too.'"

Ramsey, a rising senior quarterback at Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County and Georgia commit, has thrown plenty of pretty passes of late. Last month, he shined during an Elite 11 regional camp near Atlanta. Two weekends ago, he was quarterback MVP at the Charlotte Nike Camp where Terry, also a Bulldogs verbal, was on the receiving end of many picture-perfect Ramsey strikes.

"His arm is getting stronger," Terry said. "He's more accurate now than in the past. He just looks like a college quarterback. It's hard to explain. He puts so much zip on the ball, you have to keep your eyes on it."

Today, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Ramsey is a four-star prospect, member of the Rivals250 and one of the country's most coveted signal callers. A year ago, Ramsey already held offers from Clemson and Georgia, but what he didn't have was much varsity experience. In fact, he had never started a game at quarterback.

Still, Ramsey said, "I was ready to play."

Growing up, football was not Ramsey's first love. Soccer held that honor. His father played in college. An uncle played professionally. Ramsey took to soccer early, and shined on the field.

"I've still got medals from my 11-year-old team," Ramsey said. "We won nationals at Disney."

For fun, Ramsey often threw the football around on the side. He picked up things quickly and by middle school, he played quarterback in flag football during physical education. There, he was spotted by the middle school's offensive coordinator, Bishop Braddock, who suggested he join the team.

"I was kind of nervous," Ramsey said. "I had never played before. I had played soccer. It was definitely going to be different getting hit by people. But I was up for it. I felt like I took it in pretty naturally, even though you have a lot of different bodies coming at you. I think I threw for the most yards ever for my middle school."

Once in high school, Ramsey kicked and punted for the Camden County varsity while waiting his turn at quarterback. He also attended camps across the country, to fine-tune his skills, gain experience and hopefully catch someone's eye.

"I went to one-day camps to get my name out there, and that helped a lot," Ramsey said. "I remember I camped at Georgia, and then they came to my school in the spring and offered me."

Ramsey verbaled to the Bulldogs last July, more than a month before he would make his first varsity start at quarterback. Once the season began, he excelled at running Camden County's run-oriented wing-T offense. Although his numbers didn't exactly jump off the stats page, they illustrated great efficiency.

In 13 games, the right-handed Ramsey completed 64 percent of his passes for more than 1,300 yards. He threw 17 touchdowns and was intercepted only twice. For good measure, he added a 57-yard field goal with his left foot.

"Honestly," Terry said. "I think he'd definitely be the No. 1 quarterback in the nation if he didn't run the Wing-T."

For the record, Ramsey doesn't believe Camden County's offense has held him back any, and he seemed to take offense to any suggestion of such.

"I don't think it's a bad thing," Ramsey said. "I make up for [the limited number of pass attempts] on my own time, throwing with my receivers. "

Not only that, but Ramsey insisted the offense has its advantages.

"I'm being put in good situations," he said. "All the running we do opens up our passing game. I'm taking snaps from under center 80 percent of the time. That's a huge factor. Some kids go into college and fumble the snap a bunch."

For now, Ramsey is doing all he can to prepare for the 2012 season. Although he firmly believes he is a different, significantly improved player now than a year ago, he said he isn't quite where he wants - or needs - to be. Footwork and film study will be specific areas of focus this summer.

"I feel like I'm better physically and mentally," Ramsey said. "I really think my reading of defenses has improved. And physically, I've improved. I've added about 20 pounds. I've got a year of experience now, but there's always room to improve. "

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at Keithrivals@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.



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