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The 49ers Rookie who Sacked Colin Kaepernick

Posted May 16, 2014

What does San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have in common with Florida State’s Heisman Trophy-winning signal-caller Jameis Winston?


What does San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have in common with Florida State’s Heisman Trophy-winning signal-caller Jameis Winston?

Besides being strong-armed athletes with baseball backgrounds, both players were sacked by Boston College defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey, San Francisco’s first of two seventh-round selections in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Ramsey, the 6-foot-3, 285-pound rookie, brought down the two well-known quarterbacks to account for two of the 6.5 career sacks he produced in 40 college games.

Ramsey hasn’t brought up any reminders of the play to Kaepernick since joining the 49ers for offseason workouts this week. After all, San Francisco's starting quarterback got the best of Ramsey that day, leading Nevada to a win over Boston College in the 2011 Fight Hunger Bowl.

Even so, Ramsey recalls the sack as one of his top highlights from a challenging college career.

“It definitely stands out as one of the best plays I’ve made in my career,” Ramsey told 49ers.com. “Colin is obviously a great player. Being in the same locker room with him now is definitely a unique situation.”

Ramsey dealt with numerous lower-body injuries in college, some of which were of the season-ending variety. Because of those setbacks, Ramsey was granted a sixth-year of eligibility in 2013, the year he sacked Winston.

Following the NFL Draft, general manager Trent Baalke said San Francisco’s scouting file on Ramsey was quite extensive.

“Kaleb’s a young man that the scouts were tired of grading, to be honest with you, because he’s been in the last three drafts,” Baalke said. “He’s had some history, medical history that’s kind of knocked him out of a couple of seasons. So, they were finally glad that this was the last time they had to watch him at the college level and put a grade on him.”

Injuries are a thing of the past in Ramsey’s mind. The flashes he’s shown – sacks on Kaepernick and Winston – speak to his promise on the defensive line.

“I’m fully confident in my ability as an athlete and that was just a display of what I can do,” Ramsey said. “I’ve had some injuries, but once I’m healthy I know I can be a great athlete.”

Baalke said the 24-year-old rookie’s versatility made him an attractive option in the seventh round of this year’s draft.

“A guy that can play three-technique, can play four-technique, has played some five-technique, gives you some inside pass rush,” the GM said. “A very athletic big man and has played at a lot of different weights.”

Baalke said Ramsey has the ability to play as a down lineman. He can also stand up and rush from a two-point stance, plus line up as a defensive end in sub packages.

“He’s a guy that has one of those body types that you can kind of massage to what you want him to be,” Baalke said.

Ramsey’s specific role will be determined over the course of the offseason. For now, he’s soaking up valuable knowledge from the 49ers veterans and respected defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.

“I feel like I have a great opportunity to contribute,” Ramsey said. “I’m going to try to contribute as much as I can and learn from the best.”