Ransome Takes Charge Of The Offensive Line
By Blake Belden, staff writer
Sep 5, 2014, 08:49
Ronnie Ransome (79) impressed enough last season to be a part of the CIAA Preseason First Team
ETTRICK — As the Virginia State University Trojans enter another football season, junior center Ronnie Ransome aims for bigger and better, hoping to expand upon last year's 9-1 season, continue to crumble expectations and brush off the blemish of last year's championship disqualification.
"We've still got that chip on our shoulder that we're the 10th best team in the conference like they had us last year. We never lost that chip on our shoulder and we carry that every day into practice, to every workout, to every meeting. We want to be better than last year...We're still hungry," Ransome said, standing fully dressed in uniform during the brutal August heat ready to give his all for practice.
After being selected to the 2012 All-CIAA Rookie Team and the 2013 All-CIAA 1st Team, Ransome has been named to the 2014 All-CIAA Preseason Team for his outstanding skills on the offensive line.
Standing 6 feet, one inch, at 285 pounds, Ransome said the biggest thing he is focusing on as he prepares for this season is effective communication.
"Being the center is almost like being the quarterback of the offensive line. My job is basically to be able to diagnose what the front is or what coverage the defense is running. Are there any signs that they're going to blitz?...So that's the biggest thing about playing offensive line is communication because its five guys working in synchronization. We all have to be able to communicate and talk and that starts with me," Ransome said.
To accomplish these improvements, Ransome said it requires a constant source of focus and determination, stressing a today mentality and not looking too far ahead.
"Every day is a new day. We're not looking down to week six or week seven. Right now, we're focused on today's practice. Then we've got the scrimmage on Saturday. And then, once week one gets here, that's what we're focusing on. We're not trying to jump ahead or anything like that. We just want to take it day by day, and win the day," Ransome said before a preseason practice.
Ransome, who grew up in Chesterfield, began playing football when he was eight years old just around the corner from VSU in the Chesterfield Quarterback League. From there, he transitioned to Matoaca High School, where he played for the varsity squad for four years, before eventually ending up at VSU.
He said the sport courses through his blood, and that his father was also an All-American Football player in high school. His father never pushed football on him, it just happened naturally.
"I just fell in love with the sport at such a young age. Football is my life, you know. I wouldn't want to be doing any other sport...other than football," Ransome spoke with enthusiasm prior to a college practice. "I love, breathe, eat, sleep, think football every day. To be able to come out here on this field and practice and still play is always a blessing."
Ransome credits his parents and God for his ability to persist and bring a hard working mentality to football and other aspects of his life every day.
"If you're going to do something, do it all the way through. Never do anything halfway. I always think about that when I go into workouts, practices, games, give it everything I've got," Ransome said.
He emphasized that it's not just about his performance on the field, but more importantly the mindset and hard work he exercises off the field, including in the classroom, that helps shape a better team mentality.
"That's when it really counts, what you do in your own time to make yourself better to make your team better," Ransome said.
As a fourth year junior, Ransome knows that his actions set an example for all of the underclassmen, therefore he strives to leave any negative feelings off the field and bring a strong, positive attitude to every practice, workout and game.
"I can't come out here and have a bad mood or have a bad day, because then it's an example that [underclassmen] can do that. So I have to come out here always positive to inspire them because look, it's a team effort, so if one person doesn't do it, nobody will do it," Ransome said.