Late Monday morning, Jalen Ramsey became the latest edition to the USC Class of 2013 when he placed a white cap with cardinal and gold USC letters on his head. He is USC’s 15th commit, and the second defensive back in the class.
With Ramsey, the Trojans move up to the No. 1 spot in Rivals.com’s team rankings.
Before he announced his decision, Ramsey tweeted:
20 minutes…whats good??. Bio will change to committed to _______________
— Jalen L. Ramsey (@JR7_Eagles) July 16, 2012
That blank can now be filled in with “The USC Trojans”.
— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) July 16, 2012
“they have one of the best defensive coordinators in Monte Kiffin,”
and that played a huge part in his decision.
USC had been high on this kid for a while now, as was Vanderbuilt, the Tennessee native’s hometown school. Recruiting experts said that he would likely choose between the two, with Washington being the dark horse. On decision day it would be the Trojans that would land Ramsey, which many analysts predicted early Monday morning. Greg Biggins, a recruiting expert for Scout.com even noted that Ramsey had been tweeting a storm of good things about USC, so he would have been surprised if Ramsey committed elsewhere.
Fortunately, no surprises would come about for Lane Kiffin, who has been on a roll down this stretch of the recruiting trail. Just last week, he landed three coveted recruits on the same day: OL Khaliel Rodgers, OL Nico Falah and DL Eddie Vanderdoes.
Ramsey’s stock skyrocketed when he participated in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. The six feet tall, 190-pound cornerback entered the camp as the 90th-ranked player, and left it as the MVP of the entire thing. It was then USC really started paying attention to him, and actively trying to bring him into the Trojan Family. To Rivals, Ramsey spoke about his recent spike in popularity:
“Everyone knows about my press technique and my long arms and how I can get into people. What probably surprised other people is in the championship game, when they wouldn’t allow me to play press and jam people, I still was locking them up and got interceptions. I showed people I am not just a press corner, I am an all-around corner.
Two weeks later, he went to The Opening in Oregon, where he was one of the top three cornerbacks and one of the top ten overall at the camp. He also spent a lot of time with many USC’s commits while he was there, which likely had an influence on his decision.
At The Opening, Ramsey ran a 4.54 40-yard dash and a 4.22 shuttle. He also had the third best vertical of all the competitors with a jump of 39.8 inches. Rivals National Analyst Mike Farrell commented on his skills at the camp:
“In drills and one-on-ones, he was excellent as expected and he made some big plays in 7-on-7 as well. Foolishly, some quarterbacks kept going his way and learned the hard way.”
And now Pac-12 quarterbacks will eventually have to learn the hard way too, as Ramsey has elected to join USC’s defensive ranks. He and fellow CB Chris Hawkins will be the next big ball hawkers for Troy once their time comes. Currently USC has a pretty well stocked secondary, but after this season, the majority of the experienced guys will graduate and/or move on to the NFL. That being the case, Ramsey was a huge get for Kiffin and his staff, as he will be able to make an immediate impact for Troy.
USC has just three scholarships left to dole out (because of spots open for early enrollees) and it seems very likely that Kiffin and his crew will continue getting exactly who they want. The white whales of this year’s recruiting, the scholarship offers do not appear often, but when they do, athletes are locking them down with haste.
For a complete look at the Class of 2013, click here.