December 5, 2011

Ragland enjoys official visit to UA

Rivals100 linebacker Reggie Ragland was one of Alabama's first commitments in the Crimson Tide's 2012 recruiting class, and after making that decision, Ragland has tried to help lure in other top prospects to join the class.

The Alabama native took his official visit to UA over the weekend partly because it was one of the only free weekends during basketball season, but he also wanted to be on campus when top in-state recruits Jameis Winston and T.J. Yeldon took their official visits.

Winston is committed to Florida State and Yeldon to Auburn, but both five-star prospects are still interested in coming to Alabama.

"I talked to them a little bit," Ragland said. "They had a great time on the visit. Both of them were laid back, but I think they both had fun. If they do come (to Alabama), that's really going to make our class just jump. I can't wait if they do come, and if they don't, we're just going to have to face them and beat them."

Ragland has been to Tuscaloosa for almost every one of Alabama's home games this year, but his official visit gave his parents a chance to come down and see some of the facilities and meet with the coaches.

"It went real good," Ragland said. "It was stuff I'd already seen, but it was fun because my mom had never gotten to see it. I had fun with the guys, going to Coach (Nick) Saban's house and meeting with his family.

"My mom and dad had a great time with the coaches, interacting with them and their families and their wives and all that."

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound prospect is expected to play linebacker when he gets to Alabama, but Ragland talked to Coach Saban during his visit about the possibility of playing a different position if linebacker doesn't work out.

"We talked about me maybe playing tight end," Ragland said. "If playing linebacker doesn't work out, it's another spot for me to play. I want to play linebacker, but if I have to go somewhere else to play, I'll go. I just want to get on the field."

In addition to touring the facilities and meeting with the coaching staff, Ragland and his family also spent some time in Bryant-Denny Stadium where he and the rest of the recruits got to put on the Crimson Tide jersey.

"It felt real good," Ragland said. "I can't wait to put it on for real next year. I'm going to be No. 19."

Fellow Alabama commitments Ryan Anderson, Tyler Hayes and Eddie Williams were also in town over the weekend and wore the jerseys they will be wearing next year when they get to Tuscaloosa.

Ragland has grown close with Anderson and Hayes, two other in-state linebackers, and this weekend, the trio will represent the state of Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game in Montgomery.

"It's going to be real fun playing with those guys because a couple of them I'm going to be playing with in college, so I'm just real excited about getting to play with all of the talent in this state," Ragland said. "I think this linebacker corps that we have is really ridiculous."

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.


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