Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
To say the last few days have been busy for the Hoosiers would be a drastic understatement, between camps and cookouts, they’ve added four more talented recruits to their 2016 class. With everything that has been happening, we wanted to see how the offseason was going for quarterback Peyton Ramsey, Indiana’s first class of 2016 commit.
When asked what he has been focusing on during the summer, Ramsey replied, “From a personal standpoint, getting bigger and stronger this offseason is a priority. Once basketball season ended, I told myself I wanted to weigh 205 to 210 pounds. I’m currently at 200 and just working hard in the weight room to reach that goal.”
Beyond adding muscle and strength, Ramsey also talked about further honing his skills as a passer. “I consider myself a good pocket passer, but I know I can continue to improve and develop, said Ramsey. “I’ve been focused on timing and anticipation. At the next level completing passes is all about timing. Just doing a lot of one on one work with my wide receivers has helped”
Additionally, his father Doug Ramsey, who is the head coach of the Elder High School Football team, has entrusted his son to take charge of the team a little more this offseason, allowing the younger Ramsey to find his voice as a leader.
“He puts a lot on me, to take control of the team. Now being the third year as the starter, he’s stepped back a little bit. He wants me to develop into the leader, he’s passed it on to me. Being the quarterback, you need to be the leader of the team, so I’m really working on developing my leadership skills.”
Outside of working hard to improve himself as a player and a leader, he’s also taken on the role of recruiter for the Hoosiers, staying in the ears of those that Indiana has targeted.
The Hoosiers landed their second commit on June 9th when Ohio lineman Ryan Smith pledged to play football at Indiana. “I was in contact with him before he ever committed. Once he picked up the offer from Indiana I started reaching out and talking to him. I was on his back, trying to get him commit to Indiana. He plays in the same conference as my high school, comes from a powerhouse program, so I know he can play.”
The Hoosiers picked up their third pledge on June 14th, when Ramsey’s future backfield mate, running back Tyus Flakes pulled the trigger for Indiana. “We’ve been in contact, he’s working really, really hard to bring in new commits. All the guys are working hard to get other players to commit.”
Indiana picked their second commit from Ohio on Monday in cornerback A’Shon Riggins, Ramsey was quite familiar with him from their battles on the hardwood. “I know him well. I had been asking the coaches for guys I could go after, and from the get go, he was one of the guys we wanted. I play basketball against him, he’s a really talented athlete.”
A few short hours after Riggins' commitment, the Hoosiers' Monday continued to get better when Jacksonville wide receiver Phil Benker announced on Twitter that he had decided to switch his commitment from Central Florida to Indiana.
Ramsey was upbeat about this development and excited to have the 6-foot-2 receiver as a future target. “I’ve gotten to know him extremely well, he’s got the chance to be a special player at Indiana,” said Ramsey. “The coaches gave me a list of names, he was one of the first names they gave me. Saturday we finally got to meet and I threw the ball to him a little bit. We talked about changing things in Bloomington, helping this team succeed.”
He further elaborated on what he believed it would take for the Hoosiers to take that step towards a more consistent and successful football program.
“First and foremost for our class, we have to bring in guys that aren’t afraid to put in the work. It’s mental. We need guys who are willing to work hard, that want to be Big Ten champs, that have a family mentality, and that want to be successful. They have to have a family mindset, work for each other, and want to continue to get better.”
When asked what led to the cascade of commits this past weekend, Ramsey believed it came down to one simple word, “Family.” “All the guys had a strong feeling about the school, but they wanted to see it up close. I really enjoyed the family atmosphere and the guys asked me if the team had a family feel,” said Ramsey. “Being at the cookout on Saturday the recruits got to see how close the players are to each other. I think it definitely showed them that team is like one big family”
While it’s been a busy summer for the young quarterback between workouts and recruiting players to Bloomington, he’s still been able to find some time for a little rest and relaxation. “I go to the pool a lot, play some wiffle ball with my brothers. I also find the time to take naps.
Ramsey and the Elder Panthers open up their regular season on August 28th against the Oak Hill Highlanders at Elder Stadium.