Florida State Football Star Shining Bright for Track Team

Bob FerranteContributor IMay 28, 2014

Freshman football-track star Jalen Ramsey took third place at the ACC Outdoors in April.
Freshman football-track star Jalen Ramsey took third place at the ACC Outdoors in April.USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Ramsey has been on campus less than a year, but the trophies, rings and accolades are already adding up.

The Florida State safety started 14 games in helping the Seminoles win the national title. And he’s already picked up a few rings on the track this spring, too.

"This has been a big year for me," Ramsey said. "I got three rings in football and now two in track. Just adding rings to the collection."

He may need an expanded display case.

Ramsey made 49 tackles as a freshman and was named a freshman All-American by College Football News. He practiced with the football team in the spring but has also made an impact on the track.

In April, Ramsey and backup quarterback John Franklin II joined Dentarius Locke and James Harris on the 4x100-meter relay team that won the ACC Outdoor title in 40.19 seconds. His long jump of 25 feet (7.62 meters) earned him third place, matching the third place he also earned at the ACC Indoors in February.

Ramsey first tried the long jump as an eighth-grader in Smyrna, Tennessee. He kept improving and, in his senior year, set the Tennessee high school record with a jump of 25 feet, 3.25 inches in helping Brentwood Academy win its third straight state title.

"Long jump was always my favorite," Ramsey said. "I just stuck with it."

Bob Thomas / Florida State sports information

Ramsey is hoping that one of his next long jumps earns him a spot in the NCAA Outdoors in June. On Thursday afternoon, Ramsey and the Seminoles begin competition in the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville. Ramsey has set his sights on jumping between 7.70 (25 feet, 3.25 inches) and 7.90 (25 feet, 11 inches) meters. The top 12 jumpers advance to Eugene, Oregon, on June 11-14.

FSU jumps coach Dennis Nobles said the long jump is ideal for Ramsey because of the initial speed he generates down the runway and the explosiveness at takeoff.

"He's a rare talent," Nobles said. "Obviously his future is football. We're just very appreciative to have him. He has done a great job for us. … But he's somebody we would have been recruiting if he didn't play football."

When the track season concludes in mid-June, Ramsey’s focus will return to football. FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher said this spring Ramsey can play any position in the FSU secondary, from corner to safety to nickel.

"Jalen can do about anything he wants," Fisher said.

Fisher was talking about Ramsey, the football player. But he’s been nothing short of impressive on the track, too.


Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter.