Ramirez Still Putting in the Work

Junior running back Christian Ramirez has been penciled in as the starter -- while missing most of spring practice. He talked to us about it, about the effort he's making to stay competitive, and how he's not being "complacent"...

Junior running back Christian Ramirez, who has been out much of the spring because of a strained left hamstring, progressed on Thursday from individual drills to some real drills.

   The hamstring still is not 100 percent, but he took some reps with the first-team offense and made a nice run during late in the practice, which was in helmets and shorts.

  Coach Rick Neuheisel said that Ramirez was not going to get any reps in the 80-plus play scrimmage on Friday at Spaulding Field, but the redshirt junior was not about to rule out sneaking in there for a play or two, if he could. If he continues to make progress with the hamstring, he could see some action in the spring game at the Rose Bowl.

  So, no scrimmage for you tomorrow?

"I don't know. I don't know if I can cancel that out yet. We'll see."

  I think you've probably been cancelled out if you're still feeling it..

"Well, I haven't told them about it (how the hamstring is feeling better) yet..."

  Do you feel like you're missing a lot within the offense, not getting to run through all the install?

"I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on it. I pay attention during our meetings and put a little extra time into it after practice and stuff into the playbook. As far as knowing what to do, that's not an issue, but being able to execute it, that's totally different. I feel like I've been out for a while. Today, I was just trying to get back into a groove, I guess. I didn't get many running plays, but that's due to the number of backs that we have."

  Even though you haven't been practicing, you're still talked about as the No. 1 back...

"I still want to work on my craft. I don't want to feel comfortable. I don't want to be complacent in any fashion, in any way. I still feel like I have to come out here and prove myself. We have too many backs to feel confident."

  From that standpoint, is it hard to sit out?

"It is, just for the sake of competition. I love playing football. To sit out and watch, that kind of hurts. That probably hurts more than my hamstring.

"I kind of felt weird coming back. It's only been a week or so, but I feel like I've been out for a while. Those weeks just dragged on and on. But I think just from me staying in the playbook, I'll be straight with everything."

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