Chanhassen's Ragnow picks Arkansas over U with NFL hopes in mind

Of the state’s top three targets, the Gophers have only one more hope: Jeff Jones. The other two were wooed to the SEC.

Bret Bielema strikes again.

The Gophers might have thought they were rid of the former Wisconsin coach when he left for Arkansas, but on Friday afternoon Bielema lured one of Minnesota’s top high school recruits to the SEC.

Frank Ragnow, a 6-6, 290-pound offensive lineman who had narrowed his choices to Minnesota, Arkansas and Florida State, announced his commitment to the Razorbacks before a crowd of about 400 people at Chanhassen High School.

Gophers coach Jerry Kill made Ragnow one of his top priorities in this recruiting class and worked tirelessly to convince Ragnow to stay home after offering him a scholarship following his sophomore year.

“I love Coach Kill,” Ragnow said. “… I know they’re going to be a successful program, and I love them to death. But I just feel like Arkansas is the better place for me individually.”

Ragnow, a consensus four-star recruit, ranks as the third-best prospect in this year’s in-state class behind Minneapolis Washburn running back Jeff Jones and East Ridge center J.C. Hassenauer.

Jones made a verbal commitment to the Gophers last February but kept his recruiting options open and plans to announce his final decision Wednesday on National Signing Day. Hassenauer has committed to play for Alabama.

Ragnow also had offers from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. His father, Jon Ragnow, took him to see a dozen schools to help him make the decision.

Arkansas has “great coaches, great academics,” Jon Ragnow said. “It gets a bad rap because it’s in the South, but if you do some investigation, you realize what a great institution it is.”

Bielema led Wisconsin to three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances before taking over at Arkansas last year. The Razorbacks started 3-0 before losing their final nine games and finishing 0-8 in the SEC. Frank Ragnow said Bielema and Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman sold him on the Razorbacks’ potential.

“Coach Bielema’s always loved the offensive line,” Ragnow said. “He told me his offensive line flies first class when they travel. His offensive linemen are always the team captains for their workouts. It’s just the place where you want to go as an offensive lineman because they breed offensive linemen for the NFL.”

Ragnow played left tackle for Chanhassen, but Arkansas plans to move him to center with a chance to start as a freshman. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of Travis Swanson, a senior for the Razorbacks last season.

“Travis Swanson didn’t play center in high school … and now he’s projected to be one of the first two centers taken in the [NFL] draft,” Ragnow said. “So it made the choice to play center a little easier for me.”

The Gophers, who also fly their offensive linemen first class, had planned to keep Ragnow at tackle. They already have a commitment in this class from Connor Mayes, a center from Van Alstyne, Texas, who played in the U.S. Army All-American Game.

Ragnow said he wrestled with his decision until Thursday night, but in the end, the lure of the SEC was too much.

“I mean, it’s SEC football,” he said. “You can lie and talk about how the Big Ten is up there and everything else, but SEC football — playing Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M every single week — it’s a battle, and it’s the best competition. That’s where I want to go.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close