Both are set to compete in the NCAA track and field East Preliminary meet in Jacksonville, Florida, which starts Thursday, with a spot in the NCAA championships next month in Eugene, Oregon, on the line. Ramsey is on the start list for the 400-meter relay and the long jump; Snoddy will compete in the 100 and 200 meters. The top 12 finishers in each event advance to nationals.
Snoddy has been a two-sport athlete for several seasons. But this is all new to Ramsey, who is still in his true freshman season. After starting 14 games at safety for the national champion Seminoles, he turned his attention to track the way he did in high school in Smyrna, Tennessee. During an interview in the spring, Ramsey said he never thought about giving up track and field once he arrived on campus.
"God gave me those abilities, so I don’t want to waste anything he’s given me," Ramsey said. "I’ve always loved track. I got serious about track when I got into high school, and had an opportunity to be one of the best in the nation at long jump and triple jump. As I was being recruited, I knew I could do both. This was the best fit for me, where I was going to be able to do both."
Ramsey set the Tennessee high school record in the long jump (25 feet, 3 1/4 inches) when he was a senior. Already this year, Ramsey finished third in the long jump in both the ACC indoor and outdoor track and field championships. He also helped the 400-meter relay team win the ACC outdoor title last month. Freshman quarterback John Franklin III was a part of that team, and is on the start list for the NCAA regionals as well.
Ramsey says participating in track and field helps him with football, where he is expected to take on a much bigger role in the secondary in 2014.
"Track helps with everything," Ramsey said. "Even though track speed is a lot different than football speed, track helps me with my form so much that I can bring it to the football field and be faster chasing a receiver. If I’m not in the best position, running down a play, having that pure speed helps. The explosiveness I work with in track, having to jump off the board, directly correlates to football because I have to be explosive in my tackles coming out of my hips."
Even though it seems Ramsey is destined for stardom on the football field, he is following the same path as his more famous teammate Jameis Winston, who plays baseball. Winston has no plans to become a one-sport star. Neither does Ramsey.
"As long as I’m here, I’m going to keep doing track," Ramsey said.
And whenever his track season is over, there is no time to rest. It's back to football.