While most third-graders learned their addition tables, senior linebacker Lance Ramer was busy putting on his football pads.
When Lance started grade school, his dad approached him and asked how serious he was about playing football. The rest is history.
His mom was totally against the idea of her little son getting pounced on, but Lance and his father overruled her.His dad signed him up for pee-wee football, and his career was started.
Behind his wife?s back, Lance?s father would drive Lance back and forth to practice.Although his mother didn?t know about Lance?s football beginnings, she was there to watch him play his first game ? though mostly against her will.
But since that day, she has been a big fan of football.
This past season Lance ended his collegiate career with being named onto three different All-American teams ? first-team Don Hanson Football Gazette, second-team Hewlett Packard All-American, and third-team USA Football.
So, when did Lance?s all-star performances begin?He made his first all-star team after his sixth grade season.
Lance played in the All-Star Bowl in New Jersey against kids who were twice his size and two years older.
Although Lance played most of his illustrious college career at the linebacker position, he has played eight different positions throughout his whole career.He played everything from a placekicker to an offensive lineman to a quarterback.
Just as in his pee-wee years, Lance?s high school playing days were also filled with numerous recognitions.
He played mostly tailback, defensive end and placekicker ? where his first ever kick was a game winning field goal in overtime ? throughout his high school days, Lance scored in the top five his league.
This earned him recognition to the All-League team his junior and senior years, as well as being named to the All-County and All-Section teams during his senior year.
His high school football days came to a close, but Lance?s career was just beginning to take-off.
In addition to UR, he was recruited by numerous schools including Wag-ner College, Springfield College and Hamil-ton College.
After considering the well-known academic standards, as well as winning the Xerox Scholarship, Lance knew he belonged in a Yellowjacket uniform.
Recruited as a strong-safety, Lance mostly played special teams as a freshman.But he dedicated himself to lifting weights and improving his speed, and he ended up playing linebacker in his sophomore season as a Yellowjacket.
?[After his freshman year] Lance continued to make himself a better athlete as well as making himself a better leader,? head football coach Mark Kreydt said.
For the next three years Lance would lead the Yellowjackets in tackles and quarterback sacks.
His sophomore season included being placed on the first team of the All-University Collegiate Athletic Association, as well as receiving an honorable mention from the All-University Athletic Association team.
As a junior, he placed himself in the UR record books by becoming seventh all-time in the single-season sack record with a total of seven sacks.
?I started playing beside Lance in his junior year and he knew when to be serious, yet at the same time he knew when to have a good time,? said junior tri-captain Brian Kowalski.
He was also a tri-captain and named to the second-team All-UCAA and second-team All-UAA team.
Determined to make his senior season his best yet, Lance made himself a vigorous off-season training program that helped him prepare for the upcoming season.
?I knew I was capable to do anything I put my mind to,? Ramer said.
It showed at the end of the season when he earned his All-American status by being fourth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association in tackles, as well as eighth in the NCAA for quarterback sacks.
?Lance has done things on the field that nobody has done in the history of UR football,? Kreydt said.
?I?ve been around the game a long time, and I?ve never seen a player have 24 tackles and five sacks in one game,? he said.
When Lance isn?t knocking heads on the football field, he?s completing his psychology and mathematics majors, as well as occupying his spare time by being heavily involved in the Psi Upsilon fraternity.
When Lance entered the football program at UR, it was not one of the most successful around.
?Probably one of my biggest thrills was seeing the program turn around in ways I never thought possible.With a lot of help from the senior class, I?m very satisfied with leaving the program the way it is now,? he said.
Lance ended his college career by playing in the National All-Star College Football Classic this past Saturday where he recorded six tackles against a mixture of Div. I, II and III colleges.
?As I look back at my college years I?ve realized that I had a wonderful experience in all aspects ? athletically, academically and socially,? he said.
Additional reporting by Joanne Wu