On social media, Nole Nation was torn apart by a rumor of Jalen Ramsey saying that he’s, “the best to come out of Florida State.”
I’m not sure if he said it or if he didn’t, but the debate started and at first, old school Noles repled, “not even close.” Then the historian, fan, and Doak Boy in me got to thinking –“Jit might have a case! He might not be wrong!”
To be clear, I am neither for nor against the claim that Ramsey has on being the all-time Nole, what I am saying is that he is not a push-over for discussion. The first name that comes up in any conversation of the greatest Nole is Deion. I believe this is a lazy argument, but since his name is the one that came up, let’s compare.
Deion is one of the most iconic players to every wear a spear on his helmet. What he did to build the brand? He. Was. That. Dude.
Jalen came up in a more – ummm – repressive environment under Jimbo Fisher than the freedom Deion experienced playing for Bobby Bowden. You could see Ramsey’s swag in doses, a swag which has blossomed in the NFL.
Let’s look at college.
- Jim Thorpe Award (1988)
- 2-time, unanimous All-American (1987, 1988)
- Florida State Seminoles No. 2 retired jersey
- 1429 punt return yards and three touchdowns. The Clemson return was crazy. I mean they threw a cup at him. (Really, watch the film, someone in the crowd threw a cup at him after he took a knee.)
- Fourteen interceptions and three touchdowns.
You’ve also got to take into account that he played baseball during this time as well as running track. All with a Jheri curl. That in itself was impressive because he kept it juicy – nothing is worse than a dry curl.
- BCS national champion (2013)
- 2-time ACC champion (2013, 2014)
- Consensus All-American (2015)
- Second-team All-American (2014)
- 2-time First-team All-ACC (2014, 2015)
- Three interceptions and one fumble recovery for a touchdown
Jalen also did his thing part-time in track and field. While being very raw, he was three inches away from qualifying for an automatic bid to the Olympic trials. Some say if had he focused, he could’ve legit been an Olympian. That’s crazy athletic.
He also didn’t benefit from playing one defensive position at FSU. Jalen had pundits arguing if he’d be a safety or corner in the NFL.
He also was more physical in 2014, recording 80 tackles, 10 for loss, and three forced fumbles. Buddy got kicked out of practice for knocking Karlos Williams into Jameis twice. His presence was bigger than just interceptions.
It’s all about perspective.
The totality of Prime is what we look at when describing his greatness. Dude was that man in the NFL, but let’s not compare Jalen to that considering we are just two years into his NFL career, which is projecting favorably to Prime’s. Living and working in Jacksonville, I see Jalen on a closer level than most. What he is in JAX is nothing short of rock star status.
Both players were selected fifth overall to teams that weren’t any good when they arrived. Jalen made the All-Rookie team and was All-Pro in his second year. Even Deion said he’s the best corner in the league after 2017. He’s arguably the best player on a team that went from laughing stock to a few plays from the Super Bowl.
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