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Cal Football

Bear Insider Video: Cal Redshirt Frosh OL Brown and Ramsey

April 1, 2023

Redshirt frosh offensive linemen Jackson Brown and Trent Ramsey were both a part of Cal's 2022 recruiting class, joining Sioape Vatikani in the ‘22 OL signees.

Both players had some injuries in the fall that limited their fall camp play but both ended up seeing some action last season, with Ramsey playing in a backup role against Oregon State and Brown in a pair of games, also against OSU as well as in Cal’s narrow 35-41 loss to USC at the LA Coliseum. 

The USC game had special significance for Brown with his family connection.

"Yeah, my mom did go there," Brown said. "So when I got in, it was kind of surreal. The adrenaline rush was crazy. Lining up against their first round pick, Tuli (Letuligasanoa) and I'm sitting there like, 'Alright, we're here. Gotta eat, let's do something. And I did solid for sure on that drive and after the game, my mom's crying, so I couldn't believe it. A lot of my family were there, so it was just an awesome experience. Under the lights. We had them.”

Ramsey played high school ball in Arizona and Florida in the heat so the California winter was a bit of an adjustment for him.

"Definitely had to adjust to the weather a little bit," Ramsey remarked. "I  think Florida with the humidity kind of prepared me for being out here so I could get really conditioned. I think I adjusted really well to this transition.

"Coming back out to the West Coast has been great so I'm loving it."

Even though both players are still freshmen, going through a season and coming back for spring ball has a different feel for both OL.

"Coming back mid-January, you could tell everything's different,” Brown said. "I feel older, especially with new coaches as well. There was for sure a change.”

With new OL coach Mike Bloesch taking over the reigns with the offensive line and run game, things are run differently in spring ball than either player experienced last season.

“Coach Bloesch has been great,” Ramsey said. “I don’t want to say he put the hammer down but he's really been going pretty strict on us and has been kind of building a lot of chemistry back. His leadership on and off the field, it's been stellar I think. We’re loving it so far.”

For sure," Brown added. To add onto that, I thnk Coach Bloesch has been really good with us. Every day when we're out on the field, we get out 30 minutes before, and walk through everything. We're definitely prepared for it. We've just got to go do it all on the field. He always talks about that. He's definitely been good."

"He came in and said like, 'Hey, we're gonna have a lot of fun on the field and off the field. but let's do our jobs,'" Ramsey said. "He's definitely like, 'Do your job and get it straight.'"

Another thing that stands out when you watch the OL go through there drills is a steady stream of ‘Yes sir's' that fill the air when he offers instructions and asks his linemen to respond.

“That's a southern thing right there,” Ramsay said with a smile.

One of the first things apparent while watching the line this spring is they’re moving in unison as a unit much more than in recent years rather than five individual players.

"Overall, our offensive line chemistry has definitely just been growing and I think like as a family we've gotten a lot tighter," Brown noted. "We're doing a lot more stuff outside of practice together. So I think building that brotherhood relationship with each other definitely has been helping on the field as well."

"No doubt, to add onto that, at 6 am in the morning, we're all together, all 15 of us." Ramsey said. "The chemistry, we're all meshing together and playing at a fast pace. Communication's great. So it's been really good."

Brown worked exclusively at right tackle last season but has gone back to his roots the last few practices in spring ball.

I've been playing left tackle," Brown said. "He had me at right and then moved me to left. I play both. So just getting used to the left side's been good but just being able to play both is for sure a good thing.

"I played right tackle all of last year so I was comfortable with that. When I moved over left, I played that in high school. Getting that kick step back took like a day or two but it's been good."

Ramsey was also a left tackle in high school but has been playing left guard this spring, starting in half of the practices so far.

"I was able to get a lot of practice in with my trainers before coming out here from Florida when I was coming,” Ramsey noted. “So transitioning to working at guard wasn't too bad for me. But I'm enjoying it. So it’s a lot more pulling, a lot faster. You don't have as much space to work with, which is a blessing and a curse."

Playing on the interior in an offense where guards to a lot of pulling requires some quickness and fast feet but the redshirt frosh feels up to the challenge.

Yeah, I definitely think I can be able to get out there, kick up the dirt and, you know, kind of lower the shoulders, which is always fun so I'm enjoying it.”

Neither Brown or Ramsey came in as big and as strong as they needed to be at this level but both are making solid progress on that front.

"(I’m) a lot stronger," Brown said. "I came in like 295. I'm like 305 now. I'm definitely stronger. The weightlifting program during winter workouts, it's really"

"I came in like 275 and I'm like 295 right now," Ramsey said, "And just everyday grinding. Ccoach B's (S&C coach Brian Johnson) been doing great with us in the weight room. The workouts are the real deal. We're all getting stronger, which I think has really helped us on the field as well."

With a new offense and scheme, the strength and conditioning staff has changed the workout routines to emphasize a combination in strength, speed and stamina. 

"Yeah, for sure," Brown said. "With this offense, you have to be in shape. And we've been doing that. Winter conditioning, it was hard stuff  and everyone was pushing."

"This offense is a lot more explosive,," Ramsey said. "I would say a lot faster. We're playing a lot of tempo. A lot of no huddle so we have to be in condition and ready to go."

Though the line has needed to learn new play calls and schemes, they also have the benefit of learning a more streamlined offense with less variables to try and retain as they’re executing their assignments, allowing them to play faster and with less thinking and processing time.

"I'd say 100%," Ramsey said. “The whole playbook kind of has been simplified for the offensive line. So I feel like our pass pro and everything, that helps with our chemistry and our communication as an offensive line, which I think has been really good for us."

"It's definitely been simplified," Brown agreed. "It's a lot of one-word stuff, you hear it. The quarterbacks have been good at getting it to us and then it’s get on the ball and go. it's been good."

Assessing their team at the halfway point of spring ball, both players see the potential for a much better season this year, acknowledging that their home opener against Auburn should be a good litmus test for the season.

"I think we could do a lot," Brown said. "I mean, the test is gonna be the Auburn game for sure. And we win that, we definitely can do a lot. So we've just got to mesh all together, keep working day by day. We’ve got what, six more practices then the spring game. That will really tell us who we are."

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