Peyton Ramsey Discusses Adjustment from Indiana to Northwestern

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In 2019, Northwestern football relied on a highly heralded transfer quarterback, Hunter Johnson, to lead the program after Clayton Thorson graduated, having served as field general for the four previous seasons.

Johnson had a completely disastrous campaign, and no one else who took the reins really did much better. The NU passing game was a total train wreck, from start to finish, and blame was to be found everywhere. Long time offensive coordinatory Mick McCall, long overdue for getting replaced, was finally let go.

2020 vision brings a total fresh start, and in this strangest and chaotic of seasons, there is nowhere to go but up. It’s time to study the playbook and hit the gym real hard. Click here to read how to have a good treadmill workout, much like all the offensive players will be doing, now that training camp is in full swing. Mike Bajakian arrives as the new O-Coordinator and another highly regarded transfer comes in to the QB position.

Peyton Ramsey, arrives from Indiana and he’s much more experienced, seasoned and accomplished than the transfer QB who was the starter last season. While no set date has been named for when the official QB1 will be announced, it is much more than Ramsey’s to lose.

It’s going to make a major long shot of epic proportions for Ramsey not to be named the starter. With that in mind, he met the media this past week, via Zoom, along with defensive back Craig Newsome and wide receiver Riley Lees.

Peyton Ramsey, who begins the campaign with 42 career TD passes, 22 INTs, 6,354 yards passing and a 135.2 passer rating, discussed the difference between Indiana and Northwestern from a practice standpoint:

“There’s not a whole lot of difference. The one thing I’ll take away is that there’s a lot more chirping, more competition that goes on. It makes it more fun to practice every day when guys are competing and having fun with it. X’s and O’s, the way we structured practice, there’s a lot that’s similar.”

“So learning that routine hasn’t been difficult for me.”

The 22-year-old Cincinnatti native also differences between IU’s and NU’s playbooks: “There’s not a whole lot, a little more play action, a little more 12 personnel with two tight ends in the action. But other than that, football is football, and it’s all about how you can scheme teams. For the most part everyone runs the same plays and the same routes. It’s just a matter of how you gameplay it.”

“My former QB coach at IU was a QB coach under Coach Jake at Tennessee, so there’s some of the same verbiage and some carry over. There’s some subtle difference, but it’s mostly learning the terms and executing.”

He said the following about on the new up-tempo offense installed by Bajakian: “We have a tempo, period, on air, but we’re running plays and immediately sprinting to the ball and getting to the next play. It will continue be an emphasis because it throws the defense off and cause a lot of problems, but it’s continued to improve and get better.”

This won’t be the first time that Ramsey will be wearing purple and white, for a team with a big cat as their mascot. Elder High School, his alma mater in Cincinnati, are the Panthers, and they sport the same colors.

Ramsey, Bajakian and company are all being tasked with a monumental challenge- completey revitalizing an offense that hit the absolute nadir last season. It can only get better from here, but there is much work to do.

Said Lees of Peyton Ramsey: “He works really hard, and that makes it really easy to work with him. He’s a good dude and a good leader.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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