Watching Jalen Ramsey roam the field during a nationally televised game against a big-time rival, his coach realized just how talented his star-pupil could be.
Brentwood Academy Head Football Coach Cody White has led teams around the country, including stints in high-school football crazed Texas. The most talented player he ever coached: Ramsey.
“We played [Nashville, Tenn.] Ensworth that year on ESPN and it was probably as good a collection of talent as I’ve ever been a part of. I can’t even tell you how many guys on the field will play in the NFL,” says White while discussing Ramsey.
“He had about 22 tackles while covering [current Miami Hurricane Corn Elder] and he was a receiver for us. He played both ways. He had a 90-yard reception on a jailbreak screen [pass]. It was incredible.”
Brentwood Academy would lose to Ensworth on that October night in 2012. White says his team wasn’t playing their best…except for Ramsey. He describes his former safety as a “freak athlete.”
“It’s funny you remember a game you lost, but I couldn’t help but think this guy is some kind of competitor.”
White believes Ramsey is so athletically-gifted, he could have been an Olympic athlete.
“When I watched him long-jump, we had to take down the board because he was jumping out of our pit,” says White.
“Holy cow! There isn’t anything he can’t do.” White wasn’t surprised to see him selected by the Jaguars in the first-round.
“We were a little shy at safety so we played him at safety. I’m just a high school football coach, but even I am sharp enough to understand he is a corner. The upside on him and what you’re getting for the long-haul is a corner that can lock it down.”
White says when the time comes and Ramsey slows down, he can transition to safety because of his size.
“He can play any spot on the backend.”
White says Ramsey played offense and defense for Brentwood. “He is too good to sit on the bench for half the game.”
Ramsey graduated from the Brentwood Academy in 2013. He was committed to the University of Southern California before deciding to play for Florida State.
Ramsey will now play corner for the Jaguars after being selected 5th in the 2016 NFL Draft. White texted Ramsey “Congratulations” on draft night after being selected by the Jaguars.
“I’m not an expert but I think the Jaguars are getting the best athlete in the draft and potentially the best long-term player that was available. He is pretty special.”