Jalen Lattrel Ramsey (born October 24, 1994) is an American football cornerback for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida State and was drafted by the Jaguars fifth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

 

 

Early years

Jalen Ramsey was born on October 24, 1994 in the Nashville suburb of Smyrna, Tennessee to Lamont and Margie Ramsey.[2][3] Jalen's older brother, Jamal, participated in football, basketball, and track at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee and played quarterback at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where their father had once played football.[3] Jalen perfected his football skills playing with much older boys at a local park.[3] He grew up cheering for the Miami Hurricanes in a family of Florida Gators fans.[3]

High school career

Ramsey attended Ensworth High School in Nashville, Tennessee, during his freshman year. He then transferred to Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, Tennessee, where he was a two-sport superstar in football and track & field. He was rated by both Rivals.com and Scout.com as a five-star recruit and one of the top overall recruits in his class.[5] He originally committed to the University of Southern California (USC) to play college football, but later changed to Florida State University.[6][7]

Ramsey had a highly decorated high school track career. On May 24, 2013, in his final high school track meet, he shattered the Tennessee state record in the long jump with a mark of 25′ 3.25″, breaking the 16-year-old record set in 1997.[8] As of 2016, no other athlete in TSSAA history has surpassed the 25-foot mark.[9] Ramsey competed in events ranging from the 100 meters to the shot put. As a sprinter, he recorded personal best times of 10.50 in the 100-meter dash, 21.44 in the 200-meter dash, and 48.02 in the 400-meter dash. Ramsey established personal bests in the high jump at 6′ 8″ and the triple jump 47′ 7″. He also posted a top throw of 49′ 11″ in the shot put.[10]

College career

Football

Ramsey started all 14 games for the Florida State Seminoles as a true freshman in 2013. He was the first true freshman to start a game at cornerback for the Seminoles since Deion Sanders in 1985.[11][12] Ramsey chose jersey #17, a number that had been retired in honor of former superstar Charlie Ward who granted Ramsey permission to wear the number.[3] He finished the year with 49 tackles, one interception, and one sack.[13] He also competed on the Florida State Track & Field team, placing third at the 2014 ACC Indoor Championship in the long jump (7.46 m). As a sophomore, Ramsey played 14 games with 2 interceptions, 12 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 sacks on 80 tackles. As a junior, he played 13 games with 1 sack, 9 passes defended, and 1 fumble recovery on 52 tackles. After his junior year, he announced his intention to forego his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.[14]

Track and field

Ramsey competed in track & field at Florida State as a relay sprinter and long jumper. He was a three-time All-ACC honoree as a member of the Florida State Indoor and Outdoor championship track and field team in 2013. He placed third in the long jump at both the indoor and outdoor ACC T&F Championships and ran a leg on the conference champion 4x100 relay team at the outdoor meet. During the 2014 season, his best outdoor long jump mark was 25' 0" (7.59m) and his top indoor jump was 24' 11" (7.59m), ranking second nationally among NCAA Division I football players. Ramsey qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary meet in the long jump.[10]

In March 2015, Ramsey recorded his personal best jump of 26' 1.75" at the NCAA Indoor Championships.[15] In May 2015, Ramsey won the ACC Long Jump Championship with a leap of 26' 1.5" (7.96m),[28] only 3 inches short of the automatic qualifying mark for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.[16]

College statistics

YearTeamGames PlayedTacklesTackles For LossSacksPasses DefendedInterceptionsForced Fumbles
2013Florida State14492.01.0111
2014Florida State148010.03.01223
2015Florida State13523.51.0900
College career totals4118115.55.02234

Professional career

Coming out of Florida State, Ramsey was projected a first round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was considered to be a top ten pick by NFL media analysts Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, and Mike Mayock. [12][13][14] He received an invitation to the NFL combine and completed all the combine and positional drills and tied for the top performance in the broad jump and vertical jump.[17] On March 29, 2016, he chose to participate at Florida State's pro day, along with Roberto Aguayo, Lamarcus Brutus, Terrance Smith, and 20 other prospects. Team representatives and scouts from 31 NFL teams attended, with the Cincinnati Bengals opting not to, and among them included general managers Doug Whaley (Bills), Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Jason Licht (Buccaneers), Jon Robinson (Titans), and Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin. Ramsey chose to stand on his combine numbers and only perform positional drills.[29] He was ranked as the top free safety prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, the top overall defensive back prospect by Sports Illustrated, and was ranked the top cornerback by NFL analyst Mike Mayock.[21][30][31]

Pre-draft measurables
HtWtArm lengthHand size40‑yd dash10-yd split20-yd split20‑ss3‑coneVert jumpBroadBP
6 ft 1 14 in
(1.86 m)
209 lb
(95 kg)
33 38 in
(0.85 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.41 s1.51 s2.57 s4.18 s6.94 s41 12 in
(1.05 m)
11 ft 3 in
(3.43 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[17][21]

On April 28, 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Ramsey in the first round (5th overall) of the 2016 NFL draft.[22]

2016 season

On May 19, 2016, Ramsey suffered a small meniscus tear during rookie training camp. He had microfracture surgery on the same knee in his sophomore year of high school.[23] On May 22, 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Ramsey to a four-year, $23.35 million that included $22.90 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $15.18 million.[32][24] On May 24, 2016, Ramsey underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus.

Head coach Gus Bradley named him the starting cornerback, alongside Davon House. He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Jacksonville Jaguars' season-opener against the Green Bay Packers and recorded three solo tackle in the 23–27 loss. During a Week 8 matchup against the Tennessee Titans, Ramsey made a season-high eight combined tackles as the Jaguars lost 22–36.

On December 18, 2016, Ramsey collected four solo tackles, a season-high five pass deflections, and intercepted his first career pass off of Houston Texans' quarterback Brock Osweiler during the Jaguars 21–20 loss. Following the game, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired head coach Gus Bradley after a 2-12 record. The next week, on Christmas Eve, he made four solo tackles, defended four passes, and intercepted a pass attempt by Matt Cassel and returned it for the game-winning score, helping the Jaguars defeat the Tennessee Titans 38–17. He finished his rookie season with 65 combined tackles (55 solo), 14 pass deflections, two interceptions, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts.[33]

2017 season

Ramsey returned as the Jagaurs' de facto starting cornerback and joined a revamped secondary that included A. J. Bouye, Aaron Colvin, Barry Church, and Tashaun Gipson. NFL analyst Ike Taylor ranked them the seventh best secondary prior to the season and ranked Ramsey and Bouye the top cornerback tandem.

On September 24, 2017, Ramsey recorded two solo tackles and intercepted a pass attempt from Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco, as the Jaguars routed the Ravens 44–7. During a Week 5 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he collected a season-high seven combined tackles, four pass deflections, and intercepted a pass attempt by Ben Roethlisberger in the Jaguars' 30–9 victory. On November 5, 2017, Ramsey was ejected during a 23–7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals after an altercation that began with him pushing Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A. J. Green to the ground and ended with several punches thrown.