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Thursday, August 16, 2012
USC commits face off in season opener

By Blair Angulo

Jalen Ramsey and Jason Hatcher
They are on track to be teammates at USC, but Jalen Ramsey (left) and Jason Hatcher haven't spoken to each other this week in anticipation of their season-opening high school matchup.
A growing friendship is on hold this week.

Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Louisville (Ky.) Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher, both USC commits, have embargoed their relationship ahead of Friday night’s high school football season opener in the Bluegrass State.

That means no calls, no texts and no tweets.

They’ll compete for four quarters Friday, releasing a summer’s worth of preparation and training. Afterward, they’ll shake hands and pose for photos.

“Jason and I are cool. We’ve been together at the USC camp and The Opening,” Ramsey said. “But, of course, I won't talk to him this week or anything.”

Brentwood Academy, one of Tennessee’s most consistent programs, will make the 190-mile trip north. If Ramsey, the nation’s seventh-ranked corner, has his way, the ride home will be a joyous one. He'll likely get matched up with Trinity's James Quick, the nation's ninth-ranked receiver.

“He’s a phenomenally gifted athlete,” Brentwood Academy first-year coach Cody White said of Ramsey. “That’s just something he was gifted with by God. He’s done a great job developing and fine tuning his skills. He has a tremendous work ethic and is fun to be around with. He’s really grown into being a leader as well. ... We’ll err more towards him being a defensive player but we don’t want him off the field, really. He’ll play receiver too. He’s a good one.”

Trinity, winners of seven consecutive Kentucky Class 6A titles, has planned a “Green Out.” Hatcher leads a defense that also includes Vanderbilt cornerback commit Ryan White.

"That will be real fun,” Ramsey said. “Jason and I know about each other. We both know what we're capable of and what we can do. It’s going to be fun.”