For a player to receive a verbal offer before his junior year even starts, you know there has to be considerable interest by that particular program. Such was the case with Nebraska and Nick Ramirez.
“I got their (Nebraska) offer right after the Christmas break this past year. I remember it well. Because it was when coach (Carl) Pelini came by my school, which was really cool. He wasn’t allowed to talk to me but he talked with my head coach for a long time.
“Then my coach came and got me out of the classroom and said ‘Hey, just want to let you know Nebraska is your first offer’. I was really, really shocked by it. I hadn’t heard a lot from them other than the normal stuff (mail) all the kids get so I didn’t really think much of it.
“But now for them to be my first offer means a lot. It really shows they believe in me as a player. Later when I get into taking my officials, Nebraska will be one of the schools I visit.”
Apparently once the offer from Nebraska was made, interest from others quickly followed suit.
“I really wasn’t hearing a lot from colleges at that time but my coach was just saying it was early and not to worry. But after that Nebraska offer came, Missouri came in with an offer a couple weeks later, then schools like USC, Iowa, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Auburn started sending me stuff.
“Now it’s just real crazy with all these coaches coming by the school to pick up tape and whatnot.”
Nick said he was already aware of the tradition down in Lincoln well before the offer came.
“I’ve been to a couple games down there and I love the atmosphere. I was at that Missouri game down in Lincoln a couple years ago. I think it was my eighth or ninth grade year.
“The place is really loud and the fans are really into the game I really loved that about the stadium. I’ve heard that stadium has been sold out since forever so that’s cool too. I remember seeing the weight room while I was there and it was real nice. The tunnel walk was awesome too. I had a great time.
“I even have a poster of the Blackshirts on my wall in my room at home. I love everything about the Blackshirts, just how physical and fast they play.”
Ramirez, at 6-foot-2 and 234 pounds, already possesses the size most high school seniors at his position hope to reach. But that hasn’t slowed him down when it comes to training and preparing his body for the grind of a football season.
“I’ve always been into working out and lifting weights. But now I have a better routine to go through. If you go every day without giving your body a rest you’re hurting yourself.
“With the season just a couple months away me and my teammates have already started training pretty hard again. What we’re doing now should help keep injuries down this season.”
Unlike many players that go both ways in high school, Nick really only plays one position.
“All I play is inside linebacker, that’s the only position I play right now. My freshman year I was the running back but soon they found out my best position and put me on defense (at linebacker).
“We run a multiple front, some three and four man looks. Our base is just a straight 4-4. Our coaches just try to throw a little bit of everything to keep other teams guessing.”
Most college recruiters also feel he’ll end up inside on the next level.
“Usually I hear them talking about me playing inside because I’m almost big enough now. Once I gain a few more pounds and get my strength up I’ll be able to handle what comes with playing inside backer in college.”
With two years to go in the recruiting process, Nick said he plans to use this time to study programs showing interest in him. At the same time, getting to know the coaching staffs on a more personal level will also be key, but that takes time.
“I have so much time to think about it, I’m not even thinking about a commitment or anything right now. That would be a big rush and I want time to get to know these schools better. I mean I have some people saying I need to go here or there, but I need to do what is best for me not them.”
He admitted growing up in Missouri many of the locals want you to stay home and play for the Tigers.
“I mean, when I was growing up I did root for Missouri because I’m from here. But then a lot of the people from around here think the same way. But I can tell you that will not dictate where I go to play my college ball. It’s not as simple as that.”
What will you be looking for?
“I want a great education of course because that’s what will really matter in the long run. I’m still trying to decide on a major between Criminal Justice and some type of Business Management. Campus life is also important, like do I feel comfortable there?
“My relationship with the coaches and the type defense they run is probably most important. Do I get along with the coaches and do I fit their scheme? I want to go somewhere they need me not just want me. Somewhere I can come in and make an impact.”
When asked about his stats from last season, Nick said as best he could remember he had over 140 tackles. Other than Nebraska, the only other visit he has taken was to Missouri for a junior day. He’ll also be heading to the Texas A&M camp on July 17th. Keep checking Big Red Report as we continue to bring you the latest on Husker recruiting.