Jalen Ramsey sat down with Seminoles.com to reflect on his career at Florida State and look ahead to the NFL draft. Here’s a transcript of that conversation.
Seminoles.com: Declaring for the draft, I know it’s probably something you thought about coming into the season. But now, after the season that you had, did it kind of come easy for you to know this is what you wanted to do?
Jalen Ramsey: Definitely. I mean, I tried to take it one game at a time. I didn’t try to think about it too much. It’s always been my dream to play in the NFL, to make it there. And just to know how close it was, I just tried to stay focused the whole year. The end of the year, we didn’t finish how we wanted to, but after talking with my family and the coaches I just thought it was best to enter the draft.
Seminoles.com: What’s the plan for you? Where are you planning on training? Who are you planning on training with?
Ramsey: I’m going to be going home and training with my dad, Ramsey Performance Training. I’m just going to train hard with him, he’s gotten me prepared for everything since I’ve been a little kid, got me prepared for college. I trust him to do the same thing for the NFL, for the combine and Pro Day. I’ll be ready.
Seminoles.com: What have you heard so far as far as the draft, where you could possibly go?
Ramsey: I try not to look at the mock draft and things like that, because you never know until your name is actually called, they can change through these months up until the draft, so I try not to look at it too much. But I have seen some top five, top 10.
Seminoles.com: How helpful have the contacts that Coach Fisher and FSU have in the NFL been in helping you make that decision?
Ramsey: It’s not only that, but just the help that they’ve been throughout my whole career here at Florida State. Preparing me to be able to have a moment like this where I can decide whether I’m coming back or go to the NFL. As far as Coach having connections – being able to talk to scouts, being able to talk to guys that know the inside scoop, letting me know it was a good decision, that I’m not making a bad decision.
Seminoles.com: What’s your favorite memory at Florida State?
Ramsey: Of course the national championship, that’s pretty easy. Everybody knows the championships and winning games, the (winning) streaks — everybody knows that. Of course the Miami game – my best game here. Really just, being part of (a team with) someone who won the Heisman, Dalvin (Cook) almost got a Heisman finalist, Roberto (Aguayo) winning awards, (Bryan) Stork, Cam (Erving). Just being around so many great players here at Florida State all around – and not only great players, but great guys and great coaches.
Seminoles.com: Jimbo seems like he has always been supportive of players who should leave early. Did you feel that way when dealing with him?
Ramsey: Definitely. We actually hadn’t had a conversation about it. He mentioned it a little bit before the bowl game, but nothing really. We just wanted to stay focused. We just mentioned it because we knew questions were going to come up. After I talked to him a couple days ago, we talked about it in his office. He was fine, he was very supportive of it, let me know that anything I need I can still have, and I’m always a part of the Florida State family. He thought it was a good decision.
Seminoles.com: A lot of guys in your position might get advice from people, whether it be a coach or a family member, who maybe they don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart – but does it mean something to know that he supports you and what he thinks you should do, even though the team obviously could use you next year?
Ramsey: Definitely, that means a lot. He didn’t lie to me or anything. He didn’t try to persuade me to come back. He was very supportive of me just like my family was.
Seminoles.com: Jalen, your release yesterday – you were very appreciative of the fans, what was this time like for you?
Ramsey: The fans at Florida State have just been overwhelming ever since I got here, ever since I was a freshman, really ever since I was being recruited. The fan base started off a little lower level, as a freshman stepping into starting roles, they didn’t really know who I was but (they were) still supporting me. Then kind of jumped on the scene sophomore year, all the way to this year and they’re still supporting me right now.
Seminoles.com: The combine is probably the first big piece of the puzzle for the draft. With your track and field background do you think that helps you be prepared for that? Are you kind of excited with maybe some of the things that you’re going to be able to do there?
Ramsey: Definitely. I definitely look forward to putting out a good combine performance. I have to train well for it, because I know everybody else is training well for it right now. Definitely being in track, knowing how to run fluently and the correct way, that’s going to definitely help with long jump and (being) explosive, everything like that.
Seminoles.com: What’s the first thing you say to teams that are now looking and watching your every move? What do you want to say to those teams out there?
Ramsey: I feel like I put it on tape. I have the resume of being the best defensive back in college football. For the past three years, I’ve put it all on tape. That’s something they’re going to have to decide. I’ll be grateful wherever I go. It’s just a blessing, honestly, to be in this position to live out my dream.
Seminoles.com: For the last 15 years of your life or so, you’ve been taking the steps – whether it be Pee Wee, high school football, college football – to get to this point where you’re going after your dream. Does it feel real, now that you’re here? I mean you still have work to do, but this is the next thing?
Ramsey: Definitely. I don’t know if it’s sunk in fully yet because I’m still around Tallahassee right now. I know its definitely sunk in maybe to my mom and my dad, my brother, they send me very inspirational texts. Just thanking God, that’s all we can do, is thank God for it really.