RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Before Jalen Ramsey was driven back to the Ontario airport to fly home to Nashville, Tenn., the five-star cornerback participated in an early Sunday morning workout.
In the sand.
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Ramsey, who is a USC commit, and a host of other local prospects chugged through drills in a sand volleyball court starting at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in a park here, an early start for the Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy standout who had a busy and productive unofficial visit weekend in Southern California.
Friday night, he was at the Rancho Cucamonga-Vista Murrieta playoff game, Saturday he saw the Notre Dame-USC matchup and Sunday he worked out before heading home. A couple of stops at the Ontario Mills mall were sprinkled in.
It was another great trip for Ramsey, who saw his first game in the Los Angeles Coliseum, got to spend a lot of time with fellow USC commit Chris Hawkins, got to see five-star safety Su'a Cravens in action and even had an opportunity to discuss matters with USC athletic director at Haden.
"I know USC is the place for me," Ramsey said.
His short discussions with Haden were an important step in the recruiting process because potential coaching changes have been rumored with the Trojans. Ramsey wanted clarification from the person in charge, and the five-star was pleased with the conversation.
"I talked to him for a brief moment when I was in the eating area," Ramsey said. "He was like, 'Don't worry about the negative recruiting. Don't worry about what you hear.' He calls the shots, so I took his word for it. I feel like it's strong. The USC coaches will be there, and that's a good thing.
"Stability is always important. Ultimately, I'm going to do it for my teammates, my recruiting class, the people you're actually going out there and fighting for at the school, but that's important. You have to have that bond with the coaching staff, too."
Ramsey, rated as the third-best cornerback and the No. 11 recruit in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, called his experience at USC amazing. He toured the new John McKay Center for the first time.
He spent time with plenty of USC commits, including Hawkins, Cravens, Nico Falah, Kylie Fitts, Steven Mitchell and Sebastian LaRue. The five-star went on the field and was captivated by the enormity of it all. Even the food at the Coliseum impressed him.
"It wasn't just hot dogs, hamburgers and popcorn," Ramsey said.
Ramsey will take his official visit to USC in January, but this trip was equally important so he could have a complete sense of what it is like to play football there -- and whom he would be spending his days with.
"This whole trip was one of the best trips out here," Ramsey said. "It was one of the best trips I've taken, not only because I saw a game for the first time and I got to see the atmosphere, but I got to hang out with Chris and Armond (Hawkins), the Hawkins family, and that was fun.
"Seeing a lot of recruits at the game like Kylie, Steven, Sebastian, Chris, Su'a, Nico, all those guys were there and that was fun. It was cool to meet some recruits out of the area, too. They're all great people out here."
USC is in a good spot for Ramsey, who has been committed to the Trojans since mid-July, but he's planning to take other visits.
enciled in are Alabama, Mississippi State and Washington. He's been to Florida and, because he's from Nashville, Vanderbilt is in the picture. An official is not expected there.
The weekend was eventful for Ramsey, and it was informative. He had questions answered. He spent time with fellow recruits.
Most important, Ramsey felt comfortable at USC, like it's the place for him.
"The whole USC experience was amazing," he said.
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