A recent media session with FSU players began with a spotlight on defensive back Jalen Ramsey - even though the star cornerback did not address the press himself - and continued throughout the evening. And we learned that while Ramsey appears to his teammates to be more ready than ever for a big game, he's nevertheless a target of an offense seeking to hone its attack.
First, fellow starting corner Marquez White spoke about how the consistently intense Ramsey had even more hunger in his approach to practice as the ‘Noles began preparation for the rival Florida Gators on Monday. Said White of Ramsey, regarding the cornerback showdown between Ramsey and highly touted UF corner Vernon Hargreaves III: "I know, the way Jalen came to work today, that he's got a point to prove. The way it started and ended, the way he went through warm-ups, just the way he was going through tempo drills, all that—he really came to work this week. He's got something he's trying to prove." He followed up: "He's always really detailed, he's always really detailed. You can just tell by the look on his face, like he was really serious when he came to practice today."
Ramsey's attention to detail, his perfectionist nature, is a big part of what has made him such a standout talent not only at Florida State, but nationally. And it also renders him a target, of sorts, for the FSU offense, as the ‘Noles, especially quarterback Sean Maguire, are able to grade their offensive performance against Ramsey in practice as a measuring stick of sorts. Maguire doesn't shy away from challenging himself by testing the nation's top corner.
Said Maguire of facing Ramsey: "Jalen's just the best practice player that I've been around in the past three years here. He just comes out every day with an intensity that—he's just got a lot of intensity to him, to his game. I mean about everything. No matter what [practice] period we're in, whether it's team-run, or seven-on-seven."
He talks, and he's vocal, but I think the biggest way that he's a leader is just being able to watch him. Like, I love being able to watch him practice. It's really just, he's a great example for young guys of how to practice. I mean he just brings it, whether it's warm-ups, or whether they're doing one-on-one drills. He doesn't want to lose. And I think that's pretty awesome.
All platitudes aside, Maguire is still very much a competitor himself, and, all the respect he has for Ramsey frequently results in him sharpening his own game by testing the All-American: "I like to go throw at Jalen in practice, you know? It's fun when you complete a ball on him— ‘cause then he starts cryin'."
We know that Maguire was obviously speaking figuratively about Ramsey's disdain for ever losing at anything, even in practice, but his response elicited somewhat shocked laughter from those of us on the beat, and the former, immediately and lightheartedly, walked it back: "Should I have not said that?" Maguire, still laughing with media members, clarified: "He stops most of them—but when you do..."