Jalen Ramsey: Don't count out Seminoles


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Even though Florida State won a national championship and made the first College Football Playoff in the last two years, the Seminoles are getting relatively little national attention this spring.

The focus has been on teams like Ohio State, Alabama and TCU -- all considered favorites to make the Playoff this season. Even Clemson has better odds to win the national championship than the Seminoles. To that, Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey has a quick response.

"I think we will shock a lot of people this year," Ramsey said during an interview Wednesday. "I think it will be a year like we had two years ago. Going in, people had us losing to Miami, to Clemson and what we did -- we continued to prove everybody wrong. I think it will be a similar year to that. I really do."

Two years ago, Clemson was the overwhelming favorite to win the ACC title. But it was Florida State that went unbeaten -- blowing out the Tigers in Death Valley -- and announcing to the nation that the program was back and ready to compete for championships year in and year out.

The Seminoles followed that up with another unbeaten regular season, though they were not nearly as dominant and drew heavy criticism for all their close victories. The last image the country has of Florida State? An embarrassing loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl that still sits with Ramsey and his teammates.

Ramsey had developed the flu the week leading up to the game and lost 10 pounds as a result. He was not completely healthy in the game, saying he could barely breathe because his throat was so swollen. Still, Ramsey makes no excuses. Neither do his teammates.

They know what must be done in 2015 -- despite returning only 10 starters and having to replace Jameis Winston.

"As you said, the last image people have of Florida State is getting blown out by Oregon. That doesn't sit well with anybody in this program," Ramsey said. "That's not Florida State. We want people to know the real Florida State and we want them to know Florida State is still up there. We're not going anywhere, and won't be for a while. That's just something we're going to do this year. We're very hungry this year."

Are the Seminoles a playoff team?

"100 percent," he said. "We do have new faces, but we have experience surrounding new faces. We have guys on this team willing to help the other players get better because everybody on this team cares about one thing: that's winning and keeping Florida State at the top, just keeping it going. That's what's most important to everybody on this team. We know everybody on this team can help us get back to the top and get to the playoffs. I feel like we will."