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July 7, 2012

Ramsey makes push for elite

MORE: The Opening: Top defensive performers

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Jalen Ramsey must have forgotten what it's like to sleep in his own bed after the last few weeks.

Last month the four-star cornerback from Brentwood Academy in Nashville began what has turned into an epic stretch of camp performances. He turned in an standout performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge before doing the same during the Rising Stars camp at USC.

Home kept Ramsey on the ground for all of a couple days before he left for The Opening. Whether he will participate in Gridiron Kings later this month is to be determined, but Ramsey just might given the goals he has set forth.

All he wants to do is spread the word that Tennessee churns out some of the nation's best.

"It's been fun for me," Ramsey said. "I've been trying to put the state of Tennessee prospects on the map a little bit more. I feel like we're overlooked. I feel like we just don't get the media output and publicity. That's really what my main goal is out here. Just to do that for the high school prospects in Tennessee."

Since 2002, there have been four prospects from Tennessee considered the elite of elites: linebacker Chris Donald, wide receiver Patrick Turner, defensive end Brandon Warren and running back Gerald Riggs Jr. All achieved five-star status.

Donald and Riggs signed with Tennessee. Turner (USC) and Warren (Florida State) left the state.

Given his performances this summer Ramsey could soon join the list of five stars from the Volunteer State.

"He's a big cornerback," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "He can play press or off and is a great athlete. He can turn and run with anybody. He has great ball skills. Those type of kids are hard to find these days with that combination of size, speed and athleticism at the cornerback position."

Ramsey could also be on the verge of taking his talents out of Tennessee as well, with an announcement date of July 16 scheduled.

Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt and Washington are the finalists.

Ramsey plans to visit Washington early next week once The Opening wraps up then reconvene back in Nashville to make a choice.

"I'm pretty comfortable with a few schools right now," he said. "I don't feel like it'll be a hard decision for me at all. I'm going to go with what I'm comfortable with and with what my heart and mind are telling me."

Whatever program gets Ramsey's commitment will land a cornerback unafraid of competition based on the last month. It will also have to wait deep into official visit season to know how firm a commitment it has secured.

It is in part the hard work Ramsey has put in over the years that allows him to take more trips, he said.

"I'll take visits," Ramsey said. "I feel like for all high school athletes who earn the right to take their official visits, I feel like they should. At least three of them. That's something that you earn. You should be able to do that no matter what. That's kind of my philosophy on it.

"I know some coaches think different because they're scared their player might get swayed."

Once official visits start, Ramsey could very well be a five-star prospect in his own right. But however the rankings shake out in light of his camp performances matters not. "They're not important to me," Ramsey said.

"We're all getting DI scholarships and we're all getting school paid for, which is good. That's really what I care about."



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