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Kaleb Ramsey Learned Athleticism on the Hardwood

  • To examine the San Francisco 49ers 12-man NFL Draft class, checked in with a college coach of each pick. We continue our series with...* A former member of the Pittsburgh J.O.T.S. AAU basketball team.

Kaleb Ramsey, San Francisco's seventh-round draft pick in May's NFL Draft, played hoops with plenty of well-known professional athletes back in the day.  Ramsey, the 6-foot-3, 293-pound rookie who is currently on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List, was a point guard back in those days.

He might have been destined for the NBA, says his father, Jeff Ramsey. We've spoken to a number of prominent college coaches for our "Class of 2014" series, but in Ramsey's case, it was hard to pinpoint a specific coach. The Boston College product worked with numerous position coaches. He also overcame two season-ending injuries during his collegiate career.

But even after all the adversity, the sixth-year senior was drafted into the NFL. He can also lay claim to being the only player in the world to sack both Colin Kaepernick and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston of Florida State.

Jeff Ramsey, the proud father, knows Kaleb's potential quite well. As he tells us, Kaleb will be a formidable force once he's fully healthy.

College Improvements
"He has a lot of perseverance," Jeff said. "I'm so glad he still has the same drive that he had when he first went to Boston College. Going through what he did and having the achievement of being drafted, that has paid off supremely for him."

Enjoy the top photos of the San Francisco 49ers defense at training camp.

Greatest Strengths
"Probably the game that stands out most was his bowl game against Nevada and Colin Kaepernick," Jeff said. "It was up there in San Francisco and I was there to see it, I didn't miss many games. Kaleb sacked Colin and that was the highlight they used when he was drafted. It wasn't so much that he sacked Colin; I thought Kaleb played a tremendous game. He was pretty active throughout the game."

NFL Expectations
"To be honest with you, I thought his future might be in the NBA," Jeff said. "That's how skilled of a basketball player he is. But because he topped off at 6-3 – that changed the expectations. He was teammates on AAU with DeJuan Blair and Terrelle Pryor and Jonathan Baldwin. Of that group, I would put Kaleb as the best player, but of course I'm biased because I'm his father."

Fatherly Advice
"I told him to continue working hard like you always have," Jeff said, "and keep your confidence. Rely on who you are and Kaleb is an athlete. I know everybody is big and everybody is strong and everybody is fast – but there's always a difference in athleticism – and I think he has that. Again, it's in my opinion that he has an edge against guys of his size. It goes back to his time playing basketball. I don't think many defensive linemen growing up were playing point guard."

CLASS OF 2014 FEATURES:________

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