Over the past four years, Brice Ramsey of Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County has been mentioned as one of the most talented quarterbacks to come out of Georgia since Cam Newton.
But in July of 2011 when Ramsey committed to the University of Georgia, where he has camped during the summer since middle school, he had yet to start a varsity game under center. Even now, more than halfway into his senior season, Ramsey, ranked as the No. 1 signal-caller in Georgia and No. 93 overall prospect in the 2013 class, has only thrown 217 passes in his high school career, fewer than some have attempted this fall alone.
Ramsey knew that would be the case at Camden County, where head coach Jeff Herron has long employed an option-based veer offense. Rumors of transferring to other high-profile programs for the chance to put up monster passing numbers were normal each offseason for Ramsey, but he remained in Kingsland, Ga.
Looking back, Ramsey is happy with the decision. And on Tuesday, his patience paid off when he accepted his jersey for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour.
"I feel really good about how I have developed as a quarterback," Ramsey said. "Being in this offense has actually helped me more than I ever thought it would. I took in all of the information I could at the camp settings and worked out by myself on weekends over the summer, and I feel that really contributed to my progression as a passer. I am still working on getting better every day. That will never stop."
In his first season as a starter last fall, Ramsey completed 80 of 125 passes for 1,308 yards and 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He added 58 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground and led the Wildcats to the third round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
Coming into the 2012 season, much was made of Camden County entering Region 1-AAAAAA, with some questioning how the Wildcats would handle what most perceived as a much tougher regular-season schedule. At 7-0 and ranked No. 11 in this week's ESPN 25 Power Rankings, Camden County has answered the call, outscoring their opponents 327 to 37. Ramsey, who has completed 39 of 67 passes for 818 yards, 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions, credits the familiar faces in the huddle for his early success.
"I have been playing with these guys since recreation ball," Ramsey said. "We all grew up in the same middle schools, so we have been together for a long time. I have all the confidence in the world in my teammates."
One of those teammates, senior athlete J.J. Green, has been making plays since he started as a freshman. Like Ramsey, Green is also committed to Georgia.
"J.J. Green is a guy I would like to play with my entire life if I could" Ramsey said. "He can make plays out of nothing. It is ridiculous all of the things he can do with the ball in his hands."
Ramsey prepped for this offseason by making the Elite 11 finals and Nike Football's The Opening and also competing at the Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp and Champion Gridiron Kings. Ramsey was named offensive MVP and led his team to the title at Gridiron Kings.
And on Jan. 4, he'll get a chance to perform on a national stage at the Under Armour All-America Game.
"This is such a huge accolade and it is something I am really excited about," Ramsey said. "I am really looking forward to the opportunity to showcase my arm and what I have to offer."
"Part of the fun in being a part of this event is getting to meet up with other recruits that you have grown close to during the process," Ramsey said. "We all keep up on Twitter and we are always talking about how good our high school teams are. To be able to come together on one team is awesome."
Following the Under Armour All-America Game, Ramsey plans on enrolling early at Georgia. He is one of 15 Bulldog commits who've state such plans, and Ramsey feels that could help the program in 2013.
"I like all of the guys in Georgia's class a lot, and I just cannot wait to get up there with them," Ramsey said. "I am pretty sure I am rooming with Tray Matthews. It is obviously a huge advantage for us to be able to get out and learn everything in the spring."
Other programs looking for a quarterback might want to look elsewhere, as Ramsey appears to be solid with his decision.
"I have pretty much shut recruiting down," Ramsey said.
I am just ready to sign my paperwork and get to Georgia. I have pretty much wanted to be a Bulldog for my entire recruitment, and I feel that is how it should be. The quarterback should be the one committed first and then helping to round up all of the rest."
This week, Ramsey is hoping to see some of his future fan base in the stands when Georgia takes on Florida.
"Hopefully some of the Dawg fans going to the Florida versus Georgia game will come down to Camden County Friday night to watch us play," Ramsey said. "I am always hyped up for the Georgia-Florida game and I obviously want Georgia to win it. I plan to be at the game."
If Ramsey were not playing quarterback, there is still a strong chance he would be playing football at the FBS level. That is because he can kick just as far, if not farther, than he can throw. As a junior, Ramsey had 11 punts for 449 yards, with a long of 59 yards. He also had 60 of 79 kickoffs go for touchbacks, and made a 57-yard field goal. This season, he has eight punts for 348 yards, a 36-yard and 39-yard field goal and has put 41 of 48 kickoffs into the end zone.
And it's his leg, and not his arm, that could be his ticket to seeing the field early.
"I feel like I need to come in early and work my butt off to get on the field, whether it is at quarterback, kicking or punting," Ramsey said. "Whatever it is, I want to try to play my freshman year. Coach (Mark) Richt has said the best man will get the job, so I plan to come in and do the best I can to get on the field."