The way Brandon Ramirez explains it, transferring to San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno was more than just a football decision, it was a commitment he made in order to not only grow academically and athletically, but spiritually as well.
“I’ve always had a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Ramirez said. “It’s been a part of my upbringing, but since I’ve been at SJM, I feel that my faith has grown. My relationship with Jesus Christ has grown.”
Surrounding himself at an institution with a strong a religious connection is something Ramirez had always envisioned as being a fit for him.
“I always wanted to go to a private school like San Joaquin Memorial,” Ramirez said. “I just feel like it is going to get me ready for the next level on and off the field, more so academically and spiritually.”
The young sophomore was eager to start the next chapter of his career after a stellar year at Hanford, but just two weeks after arriving at San Joaquin Memorial, the school had to shut its doors due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t be with my teammates,” Ramirez said. “But I stayed positive and continued to control what I could. I had a good off season despite the circumstances. I looked at it as an extended off-season and took advantage of it by training five days a week, sometimes six days a week.”
The work paid off. In May, Ramirez received his first offer to the University of Texas.
“I would have been excited no matter where the first offer would have come from simply because it's a dream come true,” Ramirez said. “The journey is not over but definitely off to a good start and I’m thankful.”
Ramirez did a lot for Hanford. He started on a team as a freshman on a roster with 30 seniors. He wore many hats for the Bullpups, contributing at safety, running back and returning kicks.
Ramirez got some reps in at the Elite Underclassmen camp in Las Vegas before showcasing his talent at the National Preps Collegiate Showcase in Fresno in late September.
“It was great to have a camp in our backyard; normally we have to travel for an event like this,” Ramirez said. “It was a great event put on by National Preps and their staff, scouts, and coaches. I’d like to personally thank Coach Trent Herzog and Coach Paul Gregorian.”
With an offer from Texas as a sophomore, it was pretty much expected the officially measured 5-10.05, 189-pound Ramirez would be a top performer at the National Preps event, and he was. In fact, he was the only defensive back from the Class of 2023 to be rated a Major D1 prospect on the list of Top 100 Performers by the National Preps coaches and staff.
“Ramirez is a very smart player,” National Preps Western Region scout Paul Gregorian said. “He can move and play well in space. He understands zone coverage and his responsibilities.”
Hopefully, and in December when football is scheduled to start this season, the San Joaquin Memorial fans will get to see their new sophomore star in action.