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November 13, 2012
Jalen Ramsey shined at the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta this past summer. He pushed to the top of the recruiting rankings at The Opening in Portland. Now, Ramsey heads to San Antonio and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl to show that his summer circuit superlatives were all deserved.
"People are always asking what (recruits) can do on a field of all great players in pads and not shorts, so I want to go out and show them against the top competition," Ramsey said. "It will be a fun trip down there, but I want to win defensive MVP. I have goals for sure."
The five-star cornerback from Brentwood (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy rose to the No. 11 overall ranked player this summer. His regular season on the field has been equally as impressive, helping to guide his team to the state semifinals this weekend.
Once his season is complete, Ramsey said his focus will fully turn to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and his future USC teammates.
"It will be good to have all of us together," he said. "It helps build bonds quicker all being in the same place."
Ramsey will be teamed with defensive end Jason Hatcher on the East Team, but seven other USC commits will be lining up for the West: Defensive end Kenny Bigelow, quarterback Max Browne, safety Su'a Cravens, running back Justin Davis, defensive end Kylie Fitts, cornerback Chris Hawkins, and wide receiver Steven Mitchell round out an impressive list of future Trojans that will be playing in the game..
The group has a head start in getting to know each other with many of those players also being at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, as well as the Rising Stars camp at USC.
The friendly competition will fuel the fire for Ramsey.
"We are all competitive," he said. "It will be good to go up against those guys and show them what I can do."
Ramsey said that showing the country what he can do was a motivating factor in picking the U.S. Army All-American game over other postseason all-star events.
"This game is the most prestigious. It is the one everyone knows about," Ramsey said. "People talk about what players did in this game more than any other and that played a major role for me."
The game's rich history is what set it apart for Ramsey.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl boasts more than 200 former players currently in the NFL, as well as multiple Heisman Trophy winners in the 13 years of existence.
"What it has done to spotlight other great athletes has been incredible," Ramsey said. "Having the chance to be a part of something that special was hard to pass up."
The tie to the military was meaningful as well.
"My coach is always saying to be third," Ramsey said. "By that he means put yourself third, behind God, and then others, and then yourself. I think that the people in the military do that every day and it is how I want to model myself."