Jacob Hauser-Ramsey lets his play do the talking. He has been named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week three times and he was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year coming off earning First Team All-Conference honors.
But what does Hauser-Ramsey think about all of the awards and recognition? The answer is not much.
“Nothing,” he said of what the awards mean. “I won them last year and I think, what did it do for the team, you know? I want something that I can share with all the guys.”
He learned from a young age that success is team-driven. He grew up playing for the academy with the Seattle Sounders. Some days he would practice with the professional team.
“That was a huge benefit that helped me a lot,” Hauser-Ramsey said. “At 16 or 17, and you’re practicing, sometimes the coaches would come in and say, ‘You’re with the first team today.’ I’m really thankful for that. They gave me a lot of opportunities to learn from the first team guys like Chad Marshall and Clint Dempsey.”
What Hauser-Ramsey learned at UConn was to use every ounce of athleticism he had each and every day.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is the consistency of giving 100 percent every day,” he said. “I think when I first came here, some days I’m not feeling it, so I’d go 60 percent, some days I’d go 80 and some days, I feel good, so I’d go 100 percent. But now, every day, no matter what we are doing, I’m giving 100 percent.”
On the rare occasion that Hauser-Ramsey struggles in a game or the team suffers a tough loss, UConn head coach Ray Reid said he handles it with no problem.
“He handles it like a man,” Reid said of Hauser-Ramsey taking criticism. “He handles it with no problem. He knows that I have his best interest at heart and when I’m being hard or critical, he knows I’m trying to help.”
Hauser-Ramsey is the type of player that coaches and teammates gravitate to both on and off the field: When Reid was recruiting the defender, he said that he would spend hours with him on the phone, talking about soccer and all sorts of things. Reid, who has coached at UConn for 21 years, said Hauser-Ramsey is one of the best guys he has ever dealt with.
And sophomore Josh Burnett knows that he can count on the defensive juggernaut.
“Jacob is a huge leader for us,” Burnett said after the team’s 3-2 win against Boston College on Oct. 16. “He communicates. He does everything you want a leader to do. So, to have him back there for us is big and next season is going to be different, but we need to keep fighting.”
Why is next season going to be different? Because Hauser-Ramsey will be graduating and, depending on who you ask, he will be playing Major League Soccer.
“He’ll be in the MLS, for 15 years and then he can be a very good coach if he chooses to be” Reid said. “But he will play pro-soccer for 12 to 15 years. He will get drafted in January and he will be in preseason camp by the end of January.”
But Hauser-Ramsey, being a humble guy, said that he is just hopeful for the professional opportunity.
Outside of soccer, he has interests in music, movies and traveling. His favorite artist is Young Thug. Before a game, he can be found in the locker room sitting down, relaxing and listening to the hype-up music of Young Thug. That is when he knows it’s game time.
As for his traveling interests, he participated in a service trip to Togo, West Africa, to host a soccer camp for underprivileged kid while he was in high school. It was eye-opening for him.
“I think a lot of times, Americans don’t really realize how blessed we are to get the assets we have because people in third-world countries are struggling every day,” Hauser-Ramsey said. “So, small things like water and even candy, some of the kids never had candy before, it really made their day.”
Last season, before Alex Kao graduated, Hauser-Ramsey bonded with Kao over the fact that he visited Togo because Kao grew up there. When Hauser-Ramsey would show Kao pictures from the trip, his face would light up.
Although Reid did not know of Hauser-Ramsey’s service trip to Togo, it did not surprise him in the slightest because Hauser-Ramsey’s mother, Laurie, is a “great woman.”
“His mother is a wonderful person,” Reid said. “I met her many times. She is a gift from heaven. She’s a wonderful woman. You can see why he is the way he is.”
Although it’s hard for his mother to attend every game, since she lives in Seattle, she will be attending Senior Night on Saturday against SMU.
Hauser-Ramsey’s role models in life are his brother Christian, who taught him how to do the right things and stay of trouble, and his mother.
“My mom... raised me and my two brothers by herself, which is a tough thing to do,” Hauser-Ramsey said. “That definitely showed me hard work and made me really appreciate her.”
Reid said that Hauser-Ramsey has provided the team with steady leadership in his time at UConn.
“He’s a mature kid” Reid said. “He’s a focused kid. He’s loyal. He’s a great leader. I mean, he is a dream, to be honest with you. He’s a dream.”
As for Hauser-Ramsey’s goals by the end of his UConn career, he wants to win an NCAA Championship. But he is more focused on winning the American Conference Championship and going from there. More importantly, he wants to share a championship trophy with his teammates that do not have a lot of playing time.
“For the guys that aren’t playing, I want them to be able to have a ring something to show for the season,” Hauser-Ramsey said. “Those guys are with me every day working hard. They are running the 5K in the spring with me in the snow and they are doing the same things that I am.”
Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.