College Football: Ransby working his way up at Georgia State
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
As a favor to a friend who was helping put together Saturday’s first “Positive U” basketball game in conjunction with the Newnan Boys & Girls Club, Georgia State cornerback and former All-County standout Jamal Ransby recently picked up the phone and called Philadelphia Eagles defender Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie to see if he could attend the community function.
What Ransby encountered was not only someone else willing to help, but a person who had followed much the same career path with equally similar goals.
“We talked throughout the game. He said he went to a smaller school, Tennessee State, just like me. He said if you work hard, you can do the same thing.”
Ransby was part of a signing class at Newnan High in 2010 that included the Ogletree brothers, Alec and Zander, who also lent a hand during Saturday’s event as the other set of coaches. While the siblings headed off to the University of Georgia in Athens, Ransby found himself among Georgia State’s first recruiting class. Over the last two years, the school has played the likes of Alabama and Houston.
This year, the Panthers will visit Tennessee during the second week of the season before settling into the Colonial Athletic Association in 2013. Head coach Bill Curry was on hand for Tuesday’s annual Pigskin Preview football media day that featured instate schools and their staffs at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon.
After making 17 tackles while playing all 11 games last season, Ransby is hoping to have an even bigger role in Georgia State’s defense this fall following two full years as a contributor. He ended 2011 strong, making three tackles against West Alabama and a season-high five in a season-ending win over Campbell.
Ransby equally entered the spring as one of the Panthers top returning cornerbacks while looking to become a starter before hurting his knee during practice.
“When I went down I was right there fighting for thatnumber one spot on the depth chart,” said Ransby, who has been rehabbing the knee this summer while taking classes. “I’m expecting I’ll be one-hundred percent.”
Ransby, who capped off his varsity career with a trip to the Class AAAAA semifinals, will be among a secondary including fellow junior and McEachern alum Demarius Matthews, who was named Georgia State’s top performer in the spring.
Next year, Ransby will be joined by recent East Coweta High graduate Garrett Schrepfer, who has accepted a preferred walk-on offer with the program. Schrepfer helped lead the Indians to a 7-4 record and a Class AAAAA state playoff berth with a 28-25 win over Newnan. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder ran for two scores and threw for a pair of touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner against the Cougars to clinch a playoff berth.