Jalen Ramsey said there wasn’t any one factor that resulted in his decision to sign Wednesday with Florida State and break a six-month commitment to Southern Cal.
“Everything played into it — place, people, trust, stability, academics, family,” the Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy cornerback said after signing during an assembly at school. “I feel like Florida State has everything I’m looking for. I’m so excited to be there. I’m not going to look back. I want to go forward.”
Ramsey, The Tennessean’s No. 1 selection in this year’s Dandy Dozen area prospects and one of the top recruits in the country, committed to Southern Cal in July. He and his family had maintained that the commitment was firm into the final days of the recruiting process, even as it was acknowledged that he was considering Florida and Florida State.
“I think it’s the nature of the beast,” Brentwood Academy coach Cody White said. “It’s not a binding commitment. I haven’t spoken a lot with him about what the change was. He kept his mind open, went and visited.
“Ideally, all you pray for with these kids is that they find a place they’re going to be content the next four years. I think he did some soul-searching, and I think his family did a great job of guiding him through it. I feel really confident he got a good fit for himself.”
Among the points Ramsey made regarding the Seminoles was the team’s recent success and an opportunity to run track as well. He is the reigning Division II decathlon champion.
“Their track program is one of the best around,” he said. “That was a big factor. It wasn’t the biggest factor, it wasn’t going to make or break a school, but the fact that I can do that at Florida State is very attractive to me. I think I can be successful at both and not just help out the football program but the track program.
“They’ve got a good (football) program. You can see it on the rise. They’re winning BCS (bowl) games, winning their conference.”
Florida State won the Atlantic Coast Conference last fall for the first time in seven years under Jimbo Fisher, finishing 12-2 with an Orange Bowl victory over Northern Illinois.
“It was a very tough (decision), but it’s my future,” Ramsey said. “I have to invest in my future wisely. I had to make the decision for myself. I don’t want to put blame on anybody else. I had to do what’s best for me.”
Rivals.com has Ramsey rated as the third-best cornerback, and the 10th-best player overall, in this signing class. Ramsey is the No. 39 player on the 247sports.com list and the fifth-best cornerback