Name: Gary Ramey, Jr.
College: Bridgewater College
Tell us about your university/college. What was your major/minor? How is campus life?
Bridgewater College is a small school in Bridgewater VA, which is about 15 minutes outside of Harrisonburg VA and James Madison University. I chose Bridgewater as a high school senior because of the small class size and excellent Health and Exercise Science department. After my football career, I plan on becoming a physical therapist specialized in working with high school and college athletes. Campus life at Bridgewater is calm in my opinion. I’ve met some of my best friends here at Bridgewater so it’s nice to hang with them on the weekends, watch sports, and just relax.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
I would say my leadership and football IQ. I was lucky enough to be a two time team captain for us my junior and senior year which I believe hadn’t happened at Bridgewater in some time. I was a vocal leader for the team as well as an experienced leader on the defensive side of the ball. Also I believe my football IQ showed every practice and on Saturdays. Our great coaching staff puts in countless hours getting the scouting reports ready each and every week as well as crunching numbers and using analytics to get a very good idea of what to expect from our opponents in any situation imaginable. I have to give most of the credit to them as they helped us prepare 100% for each game.
What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
If I had to choose one role I would say I view myself as a defensive playmaker. Our defense and the position I played being the Whip Linebacker, allowed for my versatility to thrive in our defense. There would be games I would spend more than half of the snaps on or around the line of scrimmage and there would be games I would be spread outside the hashes covering slot receivers and playing zone. Our defensive coordinator, Coach Giancola, really put me in the best position to make plays and help our defense when needed, and I was really lucky to have a great coach using me as a “Swiss Army knife” per say throughout my time at BC. I believe at the next level my skill set translates to a 4-3 Will and or a 3-4 standup. I believe I possess the length and range to play both.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The ODAC has tons of great players each year so it’s hard to pick just one. The toughest back I had to tackle and prepare for was probably Tre Frederick from Randolph Macon. Best QB I’ve played was for sure Dan Williams from Stevenson my junior year, he had incredible pocket presence and seemed to know what we were doing each snap. Finally, best pass catcher I have faced is Major Morgan from Hampden Sydney. I never personally had many encounters on the field with him besides him trying to block me, but I’ve seen him come down with some crazy catches versus us for a while so yeah I’ve got to pay him that respect.
Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
This is a hard one without a doubt because I feel a lot of my teammates display great qualities which make them even better teammates. Athletically without a doubt I would say Re’Shaun Myers. His knack for the ball and making plays is pretty incredible and even crazier to see on the field beside him. I used to tell him every game on the sideline that we were the best linebacker duo in the conference and he made my life a lot easier playing next to him. In terms of work ethic our running back, Demetreus Jalepes, is an animal. Dude puts in an extreme amount of hard work all year and I’m excited to see him and the rest of the team bring home another championship to Bridgewater next year.
Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Sophomore year of high school, I tore my ACL and meniscus mid way through the season and that was for sure one of the lowest points in my life. The recovery process took over six months and it was hard to stay positive throughout all the rehab and watching my body change over that span of time. I had a great team of physical therapists help me along the way, and that is actually how I became interested in physical therapy as my profession.
If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Everyone automatically assumes I’m a basketball player already because of my height and long arms so I guess I’d say basketball. My skill set for sure is that of a big man, however there aren’t too many 6’5 power forwards out there, so we’d have to get in the gym and develop a good jumper if I had to switch sports!
What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Being selected team captain twice is probably my favorite personal achievement. Being viewed by my teammates and coaches as someone who they trust to lead them meant a lot to me and I’m forever grateful I had that opportunity. My favorite team achievement without a doubt was winning the ODAC title this season. Beating Randolph Macon in front of our home crowd and finishing an undefeated regular season as conference champions will always be amongst my favorite football moments.
Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career?
I would say my most memorable play would have to be my first college interception in the first round of the NCAA playoffs vs. Delaware Valley. It was a big play right before half time and got us the ball back in scoring range against a really good defense Delaware Valley had. Later that game, down a few points, on a 3rd down and one, I shot a gap and made a big tackle for loss to get us the ball back to attempt a game winning drive. Those two plays, although in the same game, were probably the most memorable plays for me.
Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens. Have been a fan since the day I knew what the game of football was. My family had season tickets for almost ten years and made tons of great memories with my family driving to Baltimore to see them play. My favorite player currently is Lamar Jackson. I can’t relate much to him as he’s a quarterback and I’m a linebacker but I do love how humble he is as a player. I also love how much he’s silenced all the naysayers that said his skill set wouldn’t translate to the NFL, I can relate to that for sure.
Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Favorite artist overall would have to be Drake. Love how versatile he is as he has music for every mood you are in. Before the games though I always had to devote some time to listening to Kodak Black, he is probably my favorite strictly rap artist.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Now it’s going to have to be the Popeyes chicken sandwich… that thing is different! At home my mom makes a bomb lasagna, that’s my favorite.
Do you have a favorite movie or actor?
Favorite movie is Hardball. My dad bought me a VHS copy of the movie when I was four years old, and I’m pretty sure I’d watch it on the little TV in my room every night for at least a year. It’s a true underdog story and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves sports movies.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a big time gamer in my free time. On campus I’m by far the best madden player and that’s without question. In my free time, I love sitting back and playing 2K, Fortnite, and Madden with my friends from school and back home.
Who or what motivates you the most?
All of the people that told me that I was too small or not athletic enough to make it far with football. I have a quote tattooed on my forearm which reads “Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records”. I love this quote because it’s a constant reminder to never give up when times get tough or when nobody believes in you. I’m a firm believer that as long as I believe in myself and I have the support from my family that I can do anything I put my mind to. I definitely want to show my parents that all of their sacrifices and hard work raising me and doing what’s best for me wasn’t for no reason and that it will all pay off.