NCAA Div 1 receiver joins Bears

    Jimmy Ralph, brother to Bears alumni Dustin and Brett, joins the team

    By Matt Gutsch on January 14, 2014

    Jimmy Ralph, one of the most highly touted three-sport prospects to come out of Alberta in the past decade, has chosen to continue his education at the University of Alberta, and further his football career with the Golden Bears football program. 

    Ralph, the youngest brother in the highly successful family from Raymond, Alberta, was at Weber State in the NCAA, but following a complete overhaul of the Wildcats’ coaching staff he elected to return to Canada, where he becomes the third Ralph brother to join the Golden Bears. Older siblings Dustin and Brett were also receivers for the Golden Bears, while brother Brock caught passes in the NCAA. Two of Ralph’s cousins also played for the Bears, with Connor (LB) still on the team, while Randon (DB) finished his CIS eligibility two seasons ago.

    “I couldn't be more excited to become a Golden Bear,” exclaimed Ralph. “I think the coaching staff is pointing this program in the right direction, and I’m really looking forward to contributing to the program in any way I can.”

    Brett and Brock both had CFL careers, with the latter winning a pair of Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos, and also spending a season with the NFL’s New York Jets, but Jimmy could prove to be the best of them. At 5’10” and 185 lbs, Jimmy Ralph emerged from Alberta as a legitimate top prospect in football, basketball and baseball. As a wide receiver on the Raymond Comets high school football team, Ralph won three straight provincial championships (2009, 2010 and 2011), earning First Team All-Canadian status in the last two years, and was ranked as the No.2 high school prospect in Canada in his final year. On the hardwood, he was one of the top high school point guards in Alberta, guiding the Comets to back-to-back Alberta 4A High School championships (2010 and 2011), and earning First Team All-Canadian honours in 2011. And, out on the diamond, Like Brock, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 15th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball draft, and Brett, who played with current Pittsburgh Pirate Russell Martin on Team Canada at the 2000 world junior baseball championship in Edmonton, Jimmy also plays baseball, including a stint at middle infield with Canada’s National Junior team.

    A number of NCAA institutions recruited Jimmy, for both football and baseball, and CIS football programs heavily recruited him as well. But, thanks to an opportunity presented by Calgary Stampeders’ offensive coordinator and assistant coach Dave Dickenson, who played with Brett Ralph, Jimmy ended up playing one season with the Calgary Colts of the Canadian Junior Football League, and was chosen as the Prairie Conference rookie wide receiver of the year and as a conference all-star at the wide receiver position.

    Ralph then accepted an offer to Weber State in the fall of 2013. Now, back in Alberta, he gives the Golden Bears, arguably, the top two receivers in Canada West, and possibly in the CIS. He’ll play opposite of Tylor Henry, who led the conference in receiving yards as a rookie last season, and becomes an immediate weapon on a young offence that finished 10th in the country in yards gained.

    “Jimmy is yet another great addition to a young and very explosive core of young offensive players," said head coach Chris Morris. "He is one of the top prospects in the entire nation and the fact that we are now able to effectively recruit this caliber of athlete is a clear sign that the most talented prospects in the country are looking at the University of Alberta football program as a great place to be. Jimmy joins a very young and talented group of offensive players who will have the opportunity to grow up together and, with enough work, become a very special group of young men."