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July 29, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. - If all goes according to plan, Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County quarterback Brice Ramsey and Tampa Wharton cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III will be lining up across from each other years to come.
But over the weekend in Orlando, the two future rivals were teammates for Team Southeast at Gridiron Kings and sure made an impressive pair. Hargreaves anchored the team's defense on Saturday, while Ramsey picked apart defenses on Sunday, especially during the Southeast's 47-19 victory over Team Midwest in the championship game.
For their efforts, Ramsey earned offensive MVP honors, while Hargreaves was named the defensive MVP.
After the game, each spoke highly of the other.
"Vernon is the man," Ramsey said. "He's definitely a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball so I'll have to be real conscious of him when we play in future years."
Hargreaves added: "Brice is a great kid and great player, and we had a real good time playing together."
For Ramsey, the impressive performance in Sunday's title game seemed improbable after Saturday's tournament opener against Team Southwest was a 0-0 tie after 50 minutes of play. But after getting to know his teammates a little better, things came together quickly.
"It just took us a little while to get used to each other," Ramsey said. "I had never thrown to these guys before so it took a couple games. After the first game we started rolling and once we got to this last game we knew which plays to run and how to use guys, and we ended up just ripping it."
While Ramsey was gelling with his offensive teammates, Hargreaves and Seffner (Fla.) Armwood safety Leon McQuay III were keeping Team Southeast in games by making play after play on defense, including the shutout of the Southwest.
Team Southeast coach and former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley said working with both players was a pleasure and both project nicely at the next level. He added that a player with Hargreaves' ability can cause many problems for quarterbacks.
"I think the biggest thing is that there are a lot of guys who are fast and a lot of guys who can cover but he has ball skills," Shockley said. "That's like death for a quarterback. You throw it over there and he's going to try to catch it like a receiver ? that's scary for a quarterback."
Shockley added that if Ramsey can play on Saturdays for the Bulldogs as he did at Gridiron Kings on Sunday, fans in Athens will be very happy.
"He can be an elite quarterback on the next level," Shockley said. "He has all the tools, all the attributes and mentally he's a strong-willed guy. I think the sky is the limit for him in terms of transitioning from high school to college."
While there was a little trash-talk between the two future foes, Hargreaves said he and Ramsey left Gridiron Kings as friends and more importantly, champions.
"We were talking a little but we weren't being too serious," he said. "We were just joking around and having fun."