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Would true freshman Nick Ramirez be able to beat out Nick Ramirez for a starting spot this year?
26 days, readers. 26 days until kick-off against North Dakota State. 26 days until I can shed the anxiousness, turning it into anxiety as I fret about every week’s upcoming matchup. The wait is getting intense, but #26 Nick Ramirez from Lee’s Summit, MO is here to help.
Ramirez came to K-State as one of the most celebrated recruits its the 2013 class, and the only player ESPN gave four stars. The number three player in the state of Missouri and number eleven overall ILB according to Rivals, he probably brings the best combination of speed and strength the team has signed over the past couple of years. He had offers from plenty of programs, and chose K-State over Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, and several other schools. Most importantly, K-State beat out Missouri for Ramirez. After committing to the Tigers in April 2012, he de-committed last November and chose the Wildcats a month later. He was also supposed to bring along ESPN300 recruit Jamone Boyd, but that situation did not pan out well for either party.
Despite his athleticism, it’s unknown whether Ramirez will play at all this season. While he projects as an inside linebacker long term, it would take an injury to Tre Walker to even consider playing him at that spot (quick – everyone knock on wood now). Blake Slaughter owns one of the outside linebacker spots, while Jonathan Truman is considered the most likely candidate for the other. Walker and Slaughter are extremely talented (like, all-conference talented) and Truman has the potential to break out this year with Mike Moore and a couple other options also waiting in the wings.
Because of the depth here, Snyder may opt to redshirt Ramirez this year unless the unit suffers a rash of injuries or unexpectedly underperforms and needs new blood to light a fire under its arse. There’s no question what he’s capable of doing – he helped Lee’s Summit West to a 5A state championship after accumulating 130 tackles and seven sacks… as a sophomore. A friggin’ sophomore for crying out loud! He brings a blend of both inside and outside run support (the former requiring strength and shedding ability, the latter speed and range) that allows him to line up multiple places on the field. His versatility gives the coaches a lot of options, and he would be well suited to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 if it came to that. One thing is for certain: with Walker and Slaughter set to graduate after this season, Ramirez is the future of this unit.