UCLA football: Christian Ramirez shifts to offense again
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UCLA’s Christian Ramirez (pictured at right) knows the drill all too well. He has gained more ground shuttling between offense and defense than he ever has in a game.
Ramirez was on the move again Monday, shifting from safety to the Bruins’ F-back position on offense. The move might be temporary, and he will continue to play safety.
“We have this position that is kind of moving tight end/running back and we wanted to take a look at him on this side of the ball,” Coach Rick Neuheisel said.
Ramirez has been through it before during a meandering career interrupted by injury and academic woes.
He came to UCLA without a well-defined roll and was moved from defensive back to tailback after his freshman season. He seemed to be on the cusp of blossoming at that position during Neuheisel’s first spring practice two years ago, but was academically ineligible in the fall.
Ramirez limped through spring ball with a hamstring injury a year ago. He entered fall training camp No. 1 on the depth chart at tailback, but suffered a high ankle sprain that disrupted his season.
He had only nine carries for 44 yards last season. He was moved to free safety for spring practice and seemed buried on the depth chart.
Then he met with Neuheisel on Monday morning.
“He said he wanted to see me at this position,” Ramirez said. “I think it is a great opportunity for me. They want me to come over to the defense and hit people. I can do that. Anything they want me to do, I’m going to do it.”
Ramirez will remain a safety, but will cram to learn the new position in the Bruins’ “pistol” offense.
“It’s like high school all over again, they want me to play on both sides of the ball,” Ramirez said. “If I could play both sides of the ball next season, that would be great.”