Register was ahead of Rambo at Seminole County and had a reputation as being one of the hardest hitters in the state. It was a style Rambo always hoped to emulate.
“When I was little, I used to always look up to the older guys, especially him,” Rambo said. “They used to be like, ‘That guy hits so hard, he knocks himself out out there.’ I was like, ‘Man, I want to try that one day.’”
Rambo did just that against Auburn last month, breaking up a reception late in the fourth quarter with a bone-crunching hit and knocking himself unconscious in the process.
The result – beyond the game-saving pass break-up – was a concussion that cost him the final two games of the regular season and the realization that perhaps knocking himself out making a tackle was a rather silly objective for a young football player.
“I didn’t know it was going to come against Auburn,” Rambo said. “I thought I’d do it in high school or something. And I don’t want that to happen anymore. That was a bad experience.”
Rambo remembers little of the play, but he said he’s watched replays on television several times since it happened.
“I watch it every time it comes on,” he said. “People will call me and say the Auburn game’s on. I turn to it and I’m like, ‘I still don’t remember that play. What happened?’ It’s just crazy, really.”
When Rambo checked out of the hospital the next day, he found 150 friend requests on his Facebook page, about 50 emails from well-wishers and more than 30 missed calls from friends and family. The support was incredible, he said.
But his recovery really wasn’t particularly painful. Rambo experienced headaches for about two weeks after the hit, which is what kept him sidelined against Kentucky and Georgia Tech. But it was the time away from football that really hurt.
“I wasn’t dizzy or sensitive to lights and noises, but I was having headaches,” he said. “After Georgia Tech week, my headaches went away and I was ready to play.”
Rambo said he has no lingering symptoms of the concussion and beginning Wednesday he was a full participant in practice – no green non-contact jerseys and no concerns about the injury. He’s simply happy to be back to work.
“It’s been a month since I played football and I’m anxious to get back out there and do my thing and play football with the fellas,” Rambo said. “I’m going to go out there and do all I can to support the seniors and this team.”