TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jimbo Fisher certainly could have done without the national headlines and hot takes, but the 24-hour Jalen Ramsey saga ended amicably Monday. Ramsey was back at practice, and Fisher expressed some regret for how he handled Sunday’s incident.
Now that it is over with all parties seemingly moved on, it’s a situation that might have been for the better.
Throughout winter workouts and spring practice, Fisher raved about the leadership of Ramsey, a sophomore but one who started every game last season and was a Freshman All-American. When defensive players were asked who was filling the vocal void left by Timmy Jernigan, Lamarcus Joyner and Telvin Smith, they unanimously included Ramsey. The offense’s flag bearer isn’t up for debate -- it’s Jameis Winston clearly -- but who was the defense going to look toward for direction in 2014?
Ramsey is one of only two sophomores on the team’s player council, evidence of just how highly regarded he is on the team. Few players speak to the media more often than Ramsey, who is one of the best quotes on the team, not because he fills up the notebook but because when speaking to reporters, he’s engaging and thoughtful.
On the field, against opponents and his teammates, Ramsey takes on a different persona, a necessary evil in this game. Between the white lines, Ramsey is a brash, confident trash talker. He dictates the personality of the unit. Kind of like Winston.
The takeaway from Sunday’s ejection is two-fold. First, it gives Ramsey an opportunity to see that if he is going to be the leader of the defense on Saturdays, he needs to be the leader throughout the rest of the week. Scuffles are going to happen and tempers are going to flare, but if the aggression carries over to Saturday and Ramsey is tossed from a game, as Fisher said, it makes Florida State a completely different team.
On the other hand, Ramsey, already one of the country’s elite defensive backs, is coachable and has never been an issue in the locker room. Those are the kinds of guys who should be able to have a little back and forth with the coaches from time to time. Ramsey’s voice carries a little more weight.
Sunday could be one of those teaching moments for a player still adjusting to the leadership role, and by all accounts, Ramsey is one of the most well-liked players on the team. While the carryover from the weekend looks to be minimal, it could be one of the defining moments of fall camp.