Ramsey born to play football

Tom Allen was determined to teach his team a lesson.

Peyton Ramsey taught the Indiana coach one of his own.

After learning that one of his players was late to an off-the-field function during spring practice, Allen issued a penalty for everyone. The first-year head coach instructed his players to do a series of up-downs, a vigorous cardio exercise that doubles as punishment. As he presided over the scene, something caught Allen’s eye. One of his players was handling the task without issue.

It was Ramsey, the Hoosiers’ redshirt freshman quarterback. Up, then down. Up, then down.

“He had this look in his eye,” Allen said. “I knew something was different about him. It didn’t matter. He could’ve done them for two hours. You were not going to break him.”

Allen revealed that anecdote after last week’s win at Virginia, a 34-17 victory that served as Ramsey’s introduction to college football. It was a story that eventually made its way to Ramsey’s hometown of Cincinnati, where Craig James chuckled as he heard it.

James, a longtime assistant at Elder High School, made up-downs a routine part of Elder’s pre-practice schedule. Indeed, James had seen that side of Ramsey before.

“I’m telling you right now, and you can ask any coach or anybody he played with, in three years, I never saw him lose a sprint,” James said. “Never. I don’t think we’ve ever had a guy like that. That’s your quarterback. That’s your leader. That’s your guy. He’s winning every freaking sprint. He only knows one gear.”

Ramsey was 6 years old when his father, Doug, guided Elder to back-to-back state championships, cementing the program’s status among the most respected in Cincinnati’s Greater Catholic League. Ramsey grew up on Elder football, its traditions and culture.

Before Elder took the field on Friday nights, a young Ramsey could be seen tossing footballs back and forth with his father, or with friends. And long before he was old enough to join the high school program, himself, Ramsey would tag along to practice, watching how the older boys approached the game.

Those formative years instilled in Ramsey a sense of understanding. He learned how to practice, how to prepare and how to appreciate opportunity.

That experience was on display in last week’s win at Virginia, where Ramsey entered the game during the second quarter and sparked the Hoosiers to the win. In the first meaningful action of his college career, Ramsey looked prepared. He looked mature. From his first snap through his last, the looked the part of a Big Ten quarterback.

Immersed in football culture from the day he was born, the past 19 years trained Ramsey for his moment.

“That’s why it didn’t really surprise me,” Allen said. “Thrust into the situation there, he never seemed rattled or fazed at all. He just played football, ran the offense. That’s the kind of even-keeled, tough kind of guy you want.”

To the Big Ten and beyond, it was a revelatory performance from the youngster, who completed 16 of his 20 passes — including each of his first 11 throws of the day — for 173 yards and two passing touchdowns, while picking up a total of 59 rushing yards (a net of 32) and running for a score against the Cavaliers.

But like Allen, those who watched Ramsey grow up were also not surprised. That was the player Doug Ramsey raised.

And Doug was there to see it.

The night prior, Elder played a game in Columbus, Ohio, so the team didn’t return home from the two-hour trip until shortly after midnight. That meant Doug didn’t get to sleep until 2 a.m. He then woke four hours later for the drive to Charlottesville.

“It was well worth it,” he said.

Doug was a quarterback during his younger years, too, and played one year at Louisville. At Elder, where he’s been the head coach since 1997, Doug also coaches the quarterbacks.

But Doug learned long before his son matriculated to high school that Peyton had a gift.

“I coached him in third grade basketball, and you could even see it then,” Doug said. “He had ability and those kinds of things, but his desire to win was so much more than most of the other kids that were on his team and kids that he played against. He’s just ultra competitive.”

While Peyton was in high school, Doug was careful to be fair to the other quarterbacks on the roster. Peyton began his sophomore year by splitting time at the position until an injury opened a full-time opportunity for him.

He ran with it.

“From the first time he stepped onto the field as a sophomore, we knew he was going to be one of the best players to ever play (at Elder),” James said. “And that’s not because of his ability. It’s everything else that goes with it.”

Like study habits and consistency, qualities that made him the effective high school player that he was.

Ramsey finished his Elder career with a school-record 6,708 passing yards, 49 touchdowns and a 63.3 percent completion rate. He also rushed for 2,692 yards and 32 scores, occupying the dual-threat role that his new coaches at Indiana seem to prioritize at the quarterback position.

Ramsey took a lot of hits as a sophomore scrambler, but spent his final two years in high school developing a better balance between taking off on a run and standing tall in the pocket.

“That’s one area I think he got better,” Doug Ramsey said. “He did that this past weekend a couple of times. He’s good at sliding, dipping out of bounds and those things. I think that’s something that he developed over time in the run game where he isn’t taking too much abuse. But he’s the kind of guy that can make things happen when the pocket breaks down.”

That’s a skill Indiana will lean on the rest of this season, especially as it seeks to develop better cohesion with an inexperienced and underperforming offensive line.

Ramsey is up for the challenge.

“He has a competitive toughness to him that is pretty special, I think,” Allen said. “Just a physical toughness, a mental toughness that has shown out to me in certain situations as a young player since he’s been here. That’s the qualities you want.”

64 comments

  1. I really like Peyton as the IU QB. But right now start Lagow, it is his last chance to show what he can do with his big arm. But if he throws interceptions, fumbles, makes poor decisions, throws too hard at a receiver close to him, etc., pull Lagow and play Ramsey for the rest if the game!

  2. Coach Allen is still calling and playing Lagow as the starter. I hope Lagow learned that protecting the ball is important to these coaches and he has teammates that can take his position. IU is in a good position with the two young QBs as they have similar traits to become successful QBs. I hope IU can bring in two similar QBs in the 2018 class as of now IU only has two scholarship QBs for 2018.

  3. One good QB per recruiting class is fine. That let’s them know that you really value their skill set. With the red-shirt year for the true freshman that should result in 5 scholarship QB’s on campus. Realistically, when you “by-pass” an older QB for a younger QB ( as happened to King this year for both Ramsey and Tronti) you have to anticipate the older transferring. So yes, we need 2 more for next season, perhaps one could be a transfer.

  4. There are so many added benefits to this. One of the big problems that Indiana football had in “breaking through” during the Wilson years was that Sudfeld got injured during B1G play. The dropoff between him and Zander was staggering. Using Zander as the occasional weapon was fine, but he was a massive dropoff when he was at the helm. Sudfeld’s injuries really held Wilson’s program back from taking that leap.

    Nice to see we have some depth at the position now.

      1. Nice to see my comments get deleted, but these remain.

        However, I can take anonymous/aliasing. Please leave it.

          1. My comment was something to the effect of ‘I can’t believe you would delete that comment.’ No names. No references. Zip.

            You deleted it.

            But he who shall not be named can post ANYTHING.

            I noticed a while back that any post containing his name had to go through ‘moderation’ before it would post. No one else. Just him.

            Family?

          2. Yes, Chet, that would be the “or three” I mentioned.

            Harvard: You moderate too much.
            Chet: You don’t moderate enough.
            DD: How did I get moderated into the middle of this?

            Like I said, I give up. This used to be a community, now it’s the Hatfields and McCoys while the internet traffic just drives by and stares.

          3. Jeremy,
            How dare you? DD and I chat on an almost daily basis. Your attempt to put words in his mouth could not possibly be farther from the truth in relaying his opinion of your actions. You won’t be hearing much, if anything, from him moving forward. Another victory for you, I suppose. He places 100% of this at your feet for your heavy handed favoritism/protectiveness of you know who. Just you. He blames no one else.

            Others may say inappropriate, offensive, or foolish things on the Scoop but it is only you and your selective censorship that has driven DD and so many others away. Many of us have coexisted for years before you decided to make this a forum with a single voice under your protection.

            You win…I suppose.

          4. Chet,
            It was never about winning. This isn’t winning anything to me. This isn’t fun for me in any way, shape or form. This was thrust upon me to a lesser extent when I first started and left solely in my lap when Dustin departed. All I ever wanted was a civil discourse, something you are all capable of.

          5. …and to have the audacity to claim I say, “You don’t moderate enough”, when it is MY innocuous post that was deleted is absurd.

          6. Double Down- Contrary to what you may think, I would be very disappointed if you leave Hoosier Scoop.
            Life is one big teeter totter….Some provide the sturdy center point and foundation. Some provide the strong thrust off the ground to nearly throw the other side out of their seat. Some provide a handle or a waist to hold on tight.
            Some like a safer ride near the center…Some like a wild ride filled with stomach drops and emotions to touch the clouds.
            You’ve thrown me out of my seat many times…..You make the ride far more fun for all.

  5. Lagow will probably play great against Georgia Southern and that could be a deception problem.
    Currently, IU does not have a qb that would play any higher than 3rd string at Purdue.

  6. Personally I like Kevin Wilson a lot as a coach, but one of his downsides was the inability to recruit a QB and the current coaching staff seems to be having the same problems. don’t hand me that Nick Tronti bull—-!! he has never thrown a pass in the BIG 10 yet!! An it doesn’t look like Mike Debord or Mike Debord offense has a lot of QB’s looking at IU. Oh well lets just put it out there IU has always had a problem recruiting QB (football players in general). An just when the program was starting to put some players in the NFL (Tevin Coleman, Jordan Howard, Jason Spriggs) to get the IU football program noticed, we fired/dismiss the coach and now we have to start all over again trying to rebuild or build (breakthrough) the IU football program. I am so hoping that Tom Allen is the coach to turn this program around and IU can start winning.

    1. Tronti was “Mr. Football” in FL! He has already jumped over King and all below King at IU as a true freshman. If lucky IU will red-shirt him this season, so zero passes thrown in the B1G until next season. Your comments are foolish!

  7. comments not foolish, how many “Mr Football” do not make it!!!!! “Mr Football is just an award and apparently jumping/passing over Austin King was not a problem for anybody on the team. Until Nick Tronti plays in a game, we the fan are only making assumption about his ability to play football in the BIG 10. Personally I hope Nick Tronti is the real thing, but until he plays in a game nobody knows what his ability is (i.e. Gunner Kiel – Indiana 2011 “Mr Football”) Given the fact that Nick was Mr. Football in the state of Florida bold well for the individual, but until he plays in a game IU and the fans do not know how good he will be. An with only a two star rating, Nick has an uphill battle. An just like Austin King, Nick Tronti only received a few power 5 scholarship offers. An all fans know what a hot bed IU football is for recruiting and developing QB.

  8. Tronti played for a 5A school…..
    Indiana goes from 1A to 6A in football(larger the school…larger the division…heavier the competition). Florida is even more of a ‘blue ribbon for everyone’ state…Florida divides its high school football programs from 1A all the way up to 8A.
    He may be the next John Elway……When people were talking of Cody Zeller like he was going to be the next Bill Walton, they seemed to overlook all his h.s. accolades achieved while playing at a 2A school….and winning a 2A title. He’s done well for himself but he was never going to be a dominant NBA post player.
    Easy to get carried away by thick, star-studded, resumes from kids who haven’t faced the toughest competition out there. Not saying some of these kids couldn’t rock the world at bigger schools as well….but there will be question marks until they play against larger and deeper pools of talent.

    1. There are always “?”‘s. Once you play for IU and do well against the “Big Boys”: can he do it in the next game? Can he do it every game? Will he be better next year? etc. So what? That is why you play the games. But smart programs save the red-shirt year for freshmen QB’s if at all possible! So Tronti should not play this year. Your Questions will remain unanswered for a year.

      1. Maybe they should save the red-shirt…?
        Maybe we should just save his entire uniform…..and safety deposit box it next to all those trophies in an IU Football trophy case?
        Maybe we should be frugal with our stellar history and save it all for a rare rainy Memorial day?
        I am certain we have spent far too many sunny days of top recruits.
        Are we finally nearing a day when all of the stellar history we refused to save will bite our dominant football program in our golden sagging butt?
        There should be no question marks. One day we might get old and ugly!
        Do you think we should start saving Rose Bowls for a future chrome helmet face guard lift….?
        Think we should also tuck away some bleachers for all those years of sold-out attendance? They deserve some resting of their poor old wood just as much a freshman phenom needs to rest his poor great arm.
        Come to think of it, we should just red-shirt any question mark regarding IU Football. If anything arrives at IU Football way too underweight it’s the question marks. Sorry, Mr. Question Mark. You are sidelined until you prove IU Football’s one-way ticket to glory even warrants a question mark.

  9. It is just an award. No guarantee of quality. Four of the previous 5 (before Tronti) went to FSU, FSU, Alabama, and Miami. In fact, since 1992 (when it originated) seven of the winners never even made it to the NFL.

    Doesn’t mean anything.

    1. Using your own data: since 1992 would make 25 years to 2017; 7 did not make it to the NFL; that means that 18 did make it to the NFL! 18/25=.72. So IU has a 72% chance that Tronti will play QB in the NFL! WOW! I like those odds!

      1. And congratulations, BP!
        With a tidal wave of consecutive comments quickly plowed through in dominant Scoop fashion, you are the first to own all slots of the ‘Recent Comments’ sidebar since yours truly.

  10. Bill Mallory recruited Mr. Indiana Football who was qb from up the road in Martinsville, Indiana. (Earl Haniford). He hardly ever seen the field during his career at IU.

  11. Wilson was not an effective recruiter of quarterbacks while at IU. While I give him credit for staying with Roberson (originally recruited by Lynch), Wilson did not recruit Sudfeld. Sudfeld, who originally signed his LOI with Arizona, followed Seth Littrell to IU after RichRod took over at AZ, and Wilson hired Littrell as IU’s OC. Sudfeld fell into Wilson’s lap as a result of his relationship with Littrell. What’s worse is that Wilson had a hard time keeping experienced quarterbacks on the team. Two former starting QBs, Coffman and Roberson transferred to other schools, leaving Sudfeld as the only returning QB that had ever thrown a pass in college. When Sudfeld went down against Michigan State, IU had Zander Diamont, a true freshman weighing all of 160 lbs., Chris Covington, a true freshman originally designated to play linebacker, Nate Boudreaux, a third-year walk on and Danny Cameron, another true freshman. Roberson, Lagow and Ramsey are the best quarterbacks Wilson ever recruited to IU. So, if you’re a stud HS quarterback evaluating where to play in college, what compelling reasons does IU offer that would entice you to sign with IU? That’s why Allen and DeBorad may be hunting for transfers or graduate transfers until IU is seen as a solid destination for elite High School quarterbacks.

  12. My guess is that Tronti, who will probably be redshirted this year, is much better than his two-star rating suggests, at least in the offensive system that Allen and DeBord want to establish.

  13. Sudfeld fell into Wilson’s lap

    What actually fell into Wilson’s lap?
    The worst football program in the history of the Big Ten.
    The 10th worst football team in the history of all college football(ranking 120 out of 130).

    I don’t care if the next Dan Marino would have fallen into Wilson’s lap. What Wilson did in six seasons to change the levels of fan interest, energy, sideline attitudes, culture, competitiveness against top conference programs, overall excitement/anticipation, offensive production, and public perceptions of IU Football was nothing short of a miracle.

    And where is Wilson now after all the historic glory of IU Football fell into his lap? He managed to lap his way from one of the worst college football programs in history to one of the best. That’s the biggest lap long jump in the history of lined up laps.

  14. I’m a little leery of this Tronti kid….
    How are his knees? The top anagram derived from his last name, “Torn it,” should definitely be red-shirted.

  15. I would comment on that but Jeremy deletes any comments some of us make that don’t cheer you onward for your amazing insights.

    We have nice chats via email, though.

  16. Just one question, Chet….

    Do you really think Sudfeld was the level of QB that any top program would die to have “fall into their lap?”

  17. If I were to dispute your assertion recent history has indicated it would be deleted, so there is no point. As Double Down said to me last night in an email, that’s why so few people comment here anymore.

  18. I believe the last great Hoosier athlete to fall into a lap….was Mark “The Chlorine Cookie Duster” Spitz.

    Nobody can stay mad if given a Diana Ross tune….

  19. Yup…I’m the only one under full moderation. Rather ironic seeing how I was one of the only commenters here not hiding behind various cowardly alternative screen names before Scoop became ultra privatized for the perfect clan.

    1. See my name? That’s my name. I’ve given up enough personal information on here that people have tracked me down and commented on my personal wife. Unless your last name is Hillbillies you are full of crap.

  20. Oh look, I mentioned your screen name in a comment so it will have to be personally “moderated” by Jeremy before it is allowed to be posted…or not.

    You have your own little bodyguard, now don’t you?

  21. You never caught me using a different screen name, Chet. You couldn’t catch me because contrary to your wanting to make me your singular villain, it just didn’t happen. Email Dustin…Email Mike Miller…Email Korman. You don’t need to singularly bring up Jeremy on that subject. They all know it was not me using the multiple screen names(including the many alterations of “Chet” to mock you).

  22. Chet- I know you have much going on in your personal life. I don’t want to fight you over this petty stuff….nor have I ever wanted you off of Scoop. I’ve always admired your writing style and your wit.

  23. How dare you lie about catching me at anything. Jeremy knows very well that I have never used alternate screen names to attack or mock anyone here. I wish he would set the record straight here in the same fashion Dustin set it straight when I was being accused of similar crap.
    I had some occasional fun with “Lord of….” to post some doctored images. I fully admitted many times that the “Lord of…” handle was me.

  24. Censorship shares the same unstable ground as prohibition.
    Jeremy the “thrust upon me” description gave me a hearty laugh as if you were timid about it. I got the distinct feeling you were glad DD was leaving so you could tame those heathen bloggers. It’s not a big deal because the seasoning everyone experiences is only displayed in the rearview mirror.

  25. Ok…

    Let’s all just do a little ritual that works for me when I get upset, boil up some camomile tea and journal. 😛 Seriously though, my thoughts here out in the open.

    Firstly, let’s remember that his blog is not the American government. It is owned by the Herald Times and they are perfectly able to set the terms of participation around here. I’m involved in a lot of online communities and this one is one of the least strict in terms of cracking down on b.s. In some places, we’d all have been banned years ago.

    I regret what I said earlier that started this whole thing. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Harv, it was directed at you. I didn’t call you any names, but I super sarcastic about how you like to take digs on how bad Indiana Football is. Jeremy knew that it would set off something that wasn’t going to be good and he talked to me about it. Truth is, I know better and I regret saying it. But full disclosure Harv. But in the past year or so, you should know that I don’t throw bombs at you anymore. Mostly, I just don’t want to be that kind of person anymore; it just never ends positively.

    These little internet battles are pretty dumb. We are all very passionate about Indiana sports, but we all have different ways that we see things and express them on here regularly. I’m sure that if 99% of us were to meet in person, we’d get along perfectly well and we’d stop throwing grenades at each other.

    Chet and I talk offline. Most of the time, we just talk about cool camping, traveling stories we take. We swap ideas for next trips we are going to take. We tend to discuss most of the Indiana sports stuff right here. I like Chet a lot.

    I like Jeremy a lot. He and I have swapped quite a few emails here and there. Honestly, I don’t envy him for having to deal with grown-ups who turn this place into a sewer sometimes. And I’m just as responsible as the next guy for it.

    I like just about everyone here and would welcome anyone who wants to chat outside here. Just like Geoff, I still want to share a steak with this shadowy Harvard character. Perhaps Harv thinks I still wear too much Drakkar to meet in person. 😉

    Anyway, this situation was way overblown and I started it. It’s my bad and I want to end it here.

    1. I think I saw the post before it was deleted, Double Down. I don’t even remember exactly what you said. I fire back but it doesn’t mean I’m going to hold any grudges.
      I don’t fault you one iota. You are not nearly as regimented as some on Scoop ….and that’s what I really enjoy about your contributions. Take all the shots you want.
      I have one personal blogging reference….His name is Husky(Seahawk) Tom. I don’t think his real first name is Husky…Doubt his middle name is Seahawk…Some part of his name may or may not contain Tom. I don’t care. If he thinks I’m a piece of crap, believe him.
      Lastly, it’s not a lot of fun having all my posts moderated. I’m usually left out of the timely fun of conversations….and then I’ll see my post pop up in the middle of a thread long after all the activity has died down. I have no ability to quickly respond if randomly attacked. The delays are often 12 hours or more before Judge Jeremy makes his decision.
      I don’t think anything Jeremy does with my posts fall under the heading of being “protected.” The only thing protected is my terrible spelling….I get to do my “oops” posts and he’ll make my changes to the original that still awaits his coin flip.

      Take care.

  26. Censorship has never snuffed out the fires of democracy and freedom. Countries that partake in limiting the press and controlling all distribution of content only do so because those in power fear the equal ground created when all information is made available to citizens.
    HT is a private entity but this particular arm of their organization only functions/profits via the covering of a public institution. It’s a rather strange relationship when those in power at a private organization can use such powers to filter the coverage and discourse? Doesn’t appear to be check and balances from this angle. It is only the public that can keep the press in check ….Somehow the ideals of our Founding Fathers got misaligned…..The powers shifted to so few dominant in the information and business/economic distribution consider it their right to keep the public in check.

  27. He’s back to pass from the 40 yard line he throws it touchdown IU!! What a catch. Oh! He dropped the ball. I thought he had it and he did for a moment but the refs said he did not have possession as he hit the ground and the ball came out. Oh no they are saying it’s a fumble and recovered by the defense. If it’s a fumble after having possession that should be IU touchdown. Now, they are confirming incomplete pass.
    Here we go after all that, IU is going to keep it on the ground. A hand off, he gets a block. He breaks a tackle. He sidesteps one man. he is loose.

  28. He is loose. He cuts back and finally goes down. Don Fischer, an IU institution the most exciting entertainer and so goes IU football.

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