Ramsey Now Sees Himself As A Football Player

When young Kaleb Ramsey was attending his brother Jason Murray's home football games at Notre Dame while in elementary school, the youngster thought he'd grow up and be a basketball player. While he could probably play ball on the next level, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end is one of the best football players in the state of Pennsylvania, and realizes his future is on the gridiron.

Pittsburgh has already offered Kaleb Ramsey a scholarship, and Colorado, Virginia and Connecticut are recruiting Ramsey heavily. Notre Dame is sending quite a bit of mail, and Ramsey has obviously been on campus quite a bit in his life. The most recent time he was in South Bend was for Junior Day in January.

"Connecticut is about to offer me, and I think Colorado is pretty close," said Ramsey, who plays outside linebacker for Laurel Highland Senior High, but is being recruited to play many different positions in college.

Ramsey also came in for last season's Notre Dame-UCLA football game, and went with Irish assistant Jappy Oliver and the rest of the defensive linemen on junior day.

"He just talked about their defensive scheme and what they like to do with their defensive ends," Ramsey said. "(Irish assistant) coach (John) Latina said he is coming to my school in May I think."

Ramsey heard that the Irish are going to be switching to a defense with 3-4 personnel, and feels like he could really fit in as a guy who could play both outside at linebacker on one play, and come down and put his hand in the dirt as a defensive end on the next play.

"That's perfect for him and that's why in my opinion so many people are going to be after Kaleb," Laurel Highlands head coach Jack Buehner said. "With that frame and speed and agility he possesses, he can do so many things. Whether he wants to go up in weight or drop a few pounds and get quicker, he could do whatever. Whatever the next staff requests he could do both.

"We used him at linebacker so he could roam a little bit more and so he can play in space. As a pass-rush defensive end, he can cause havoc at the next level. He does so many wonderful things and his potential is unlimited."

Ramsey had roughly 90 tackles with four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this past season. He also played tight end, where he said Pitt is recruiting him, he played some h-back and even some receiver. Ramsey runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, bench presses 350 pounds and squats 450 pounds.

"He has soft hands and is a good blocker," Buehner said. "We can spread him out and use him as a receiver, and take advantage of his height and athleticism over a smaller defensive back, or we can get him matched up with linebacker."

In middle school and the beginning of freshman year, the Uniontown, Pa., product played quarterback, and Ramsey was disappointed when he was moved from the position.

"I never got the opportunity to display my skills because there was always someone above me that was older," Ramsey said.

Ramsey did get an opportunity to start at defensive end as a freshman, and played it the first two seasons of his prep career.

The basketball vision was still intact when Ramsey led the varsity team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman. He has done that all three years, and has led his team to the semifinals of the state tournament this season with the opportunity for more. Ramsey is averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game, and is receiving interest from Colgate.

After what Ramsey did in No. 15 seed Laurel Highlands upset of No. 2 seed Highlands last Saturday, the power forward showed he might deserve a place at a major college after all. Ramsey poured in 43 points, the fourth-best scoring output in WPIAL playoff history.

"For basketball, I'm a little undersized for the position I play," Ramsey stated. He said he started receiving mail regarding football his freshman year, and that's when he figured football would be his opportunity.

Ramsey lists Pittsburgh, Virginia and Notre Dame as his three favorites.

"On Pitt, because it's close to home and easy for my parents to come down and watch me play if I did play there," Ramsey said.

"At Notre Dame, just the environment, the reputation for academics and the prestige of the program." Ramsey has a 3.0 GPA.

"With Virginia, again they have a good reputation for academics, and the weather down there is very nice. I'm up here in the north and it gets kind of cold. I'm trying to stay away from the snow."

Buehner said most of the schools in the Big Ten and Big East are recruiting Ramsey.

Ramsey used to make it to three or four games a year during Murray's playing days at Notre Dame. Murray, who graduated in 2001, lived with his mom growing up, while Ramsey lived with his father. Murray is now an accountant in Virginia and talks to his brother now and again.

"He gives me some tips here and there, what to look for and what schools I should be looking at, and how to prepare myself for the future," Ramsey said. "He just tells me to look at schools that are good in both academics and athletics, and what schools would best suit me."

When Ramsey came in for his brother's games at Notre Dame, he would go to the game, get dinner with family and leave the next day.

"I always thought it was neat for my brother to play football at Notre Dame, but I always saw myself playing basketball in college."

Not anymore.

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