Fla. DB Allen Ramsey talks UM pledge
For Dillard (Fla.) defensive back Allen Ramsey, two minutes of highlight film ended up deciding his college future.
Ramsey, a 6-foot, 176-pound junior cornerback, participated in a 7-on-7 all-star tournament in Tampa, Fla., earlier this year. Highlights of his play -- a two-minute clip -- surfaced on SoFlaFootball.com. According to Ramsey, a Maryland football staff member discovered the film, showed it to other coaches and then arrived at a consensus that he was worthy of an offer. On a visit to College Park last weekend, Ramsey thanked the coaches for their faith in him and offered his commitment before returning home to Florida.
"It feels good," Ramsey said. "It's sunk in and I really felt a connection with the players and the coaches and I really liked the campus. ... It means a lot because they've offered other cornerbacks, but they've only seen two minutes of my highlights, so they really want me to play for them. I didn't want to wait on nothing else. They made a commitment to me, so I made my commitment to them."
Ole Miss, South Florida and Western Kentucky were also recruiting Ramsey, but the Terps were the first program to offer a scholarship. Ramsey and Dillard coach Manny Martin were in the process of putting together a highlight tape to send to colleges, and he still plans on sending the finished product to Maryland. While that tape surely would have garnered more interest and offers, Ramsey said there was no temptation to extend the recruiting process any longer.
"One of my teammate's, Wayne Lyons, he has 41 offers. So to me, that's like 41 headaches," Ramsey said. "It's going to be a tough time picking a school for him. They were the first to offer me and that's a plus for me and them. So I'm going to their school and I'm looking forward to playing."
Martin first met Ramsey last spring when he took over as head coach at Dillard. After starring at Central High in Miami and collegiately at Alabama State, Martin moved on to the NFL, where he spent five seasons with the Buffalo Bills and two with the Houston Oilers. A three-year stint in the CFL followed before he moved back to Florida and got involved with coaching. He immediately liked what he saw of Ramsey.
"I had to learn my team as we had to go, and that really came along in spring of last year," Martin said. "[Ramsey] showed some big things then. It was in our kickoff classic last year that he took an interception back 109 yards. I wanted him to take a knee so we could get the ball on the 20, and he just came out and took it all the way back. I was impressed with him."
Martin said Ramsey isn't he fastest corner in the 2011 class, but he makes plays and has a noticeable competitive streak -- two attributes that impressed the Maryland staff.
"I'm not going to say Ramsey's a burner. He's more fast than he is quick," Martin said. "He ran track and got clocked in the high 21s in the 200. That's what he runs. He's a strider. ... I think they're impressed with his size and for him to be that tall and cover the way he does. He's a cover guy. He's a guy that actually makes plays. I think that he's what they're looking for in a playmaker."
Ramsey said he wasn't that familiar with the Maryland football program before the initial contact was made, but he followed the basketball team's run to a co-ACC regular-season championship and started doing research on the school shortly thereafter. Needless to say he liked what he discovered. Now Ramsey's ready to go back to work, happy to be done with recruiting and grateful that the Terps' staff believed in him.
"[Maryland defensive coordinator Don] Brown told me I was a diamond in the rough," Ramsey said. "Nobody really knows about me or anything like that. They want to keep it that way. But I committed to Maryland. [Even if] everyone comes after me, I'm not going to go back on my word. Me and Coach [Ralph] Friedgen made an agreement. I don't plan to go to any school other than Maryland for my four years of college ball."