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January 2, 2013

Army Bowl has CB market locked down


MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl

SAN ANTONIO -- Jalen Ramsey is a five-star. He's committed to USC and being chased by SEC powerhouses. Everything is going well for the Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy cornerback.

But Ramsey has come to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with a purpose. He's here to have fun, but proving a point is also crucial.

"It's important that I back up what I'm ranked up to be," Ramsey said. "I have a chip on my shoulder, a huge chip on my shoulder, because I read the articles that say there's no talent in Tennessee. I disagree first of all.

"I feel there is plenty of talent in Tennessee and if you want to come watch my games, you'll see Tennessee talent. I want to show Tennessee has talent. Being considered one of the top corners is important, too.

"It's going to be fun going up against a lot of the top corners and playing in the game. That will be fun, but at the same time, I'm out here for a purpose. I'm going to have fun, a whole lot of fun, but I'm also here to prove myself."

Ramsey, the third-best cornerback according to Rivals.com, is on the East squad with No. 1 Kendall Fuller, fourth-rated Eli Apple and No. 7 Mackensie Alexander. It's probably the strongest position group in the entire game.

No one is getting an edge because all four of those players have a lot of pride and a lot to play for, especially since they're on the same team.

Apple, an Ohio State commit who's the first cornerback rated outside of five stars, said he even glanced at some highlight tapes of receivers he'd be defending leading up to the game to possibly gain an extra edge.

"It's great just to see where you're at, where your game is at being matched up against the top wide receivers in the nation and playing with all the top cornerbacks," Apple said. "You have Max Browne and you're going against all the great wide receivers, so it's definitely going to be a great challenge for not only me, but all the cornerbacks. I'm looking forward to it."

The East is loaded with cornerbacks. The West is nothing to blush at, either.

USC commit Chris Hawkins, LSU pledge Tre'Davious White, who's pushing for five-star status, Texas commit Antwaun Davis and Michigan commit Jourdan Lewis have all been outstanding through early practice sessions.

Six of the top eight ranked cornerbacks by Rivals.com are in town. This Saturday's game will play a major factor in how the rankings play out leading up to signing day.

"The biggest thing is to not get burned," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said. "Any time there is a touchdown scored you're always looking to see who gets burned.

"Keeping everything in front of them is important, especially working with safeties they're not familiar with. It's important for them not to get exposed."

That is a message not lost on Ramsey or any of the other top cornerbacks. Looking bad is something none of these recruits are used to. They don't intend for it to happen now, especially with so many eyes watching.



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