August 26, 2010

Junior LB steps into leadership role

Bob Jones star Reggie Ragland is one of the top junior prospects in the state heading into the fall and the 6-foot-4, 245-pound linebacker has wowed college coaches with both his instincts on the field and his raw physical potential. Ragland and his teammates begin their season this week with a high profile interstate game with one of the top programs in the state of Georgia.

"We play our first game on Saturday against North Gwinnett. They are one of the best teams in Georgia so this will give us a chance to see how good we really are. It's also on TV so it's an opportunity to put our team on the map not just in this state but across the country. We've been looking forward to this game for a while."

After an impressive performance during his sophomore season, Ragland said he believes many of his teammates, including upperclassmen, will be looking up to him as a team leader this season and he hopes to be able to rise to the challenge.

"I consider myself a leader on the team even though I'm just a junior because I showed last year that I can make big plays and I think because of that, my teammates are going to be relying on me to perform again this year. I've got to step up to that challenge and show them that we all have the ability to help the team if we just give our best effort all the time."

Ragland is one of a handful of highly-regarded in-state prospects in the Class of 2012 who are considering committing together to attend the same college and says the possibility of playing in college with so many of the players he's grown up alongside is an appealing idea.

"I was actually just talking to Jameis (Winston) yesterday and we keep in touch pretty regularly, although we probably won't get to talk as much once the season starts. We've talked about playing college ball together along with a couple other big guys in the state. We've all kind of called each other to see which schools are talking to all of us and sort of comparing offers. I think there's a good chance we'll all end up at the same place."

While he hasn't decided on any plans just yet, Ragland said he will definitely be attending some college games on unofficial visits this fall and will be choosing which games he'll attend in the next few weeks.

"Me and my dad are going to sit down soon and pick some games to go to this season. I'm pretty sure I want to visit Alabama, Auburn, Miami and Tennessee and maybe Ohio State too although that might be tough to pull off. I just want to make sure I get to see as many schools as possible this season so I can start to narrow the list down in the spring."

Ragland holds early offers from Alabama and Auburn and boasts a 3.2 GPA.

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