In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about two four-star offensive linemen - Frank Ragnow (6-6, 290) and Andrew Mike (6-7, 285) - that are set to announce their decision in the next few days. This story is free courtesy NWA Chevy Dealers. Click the banner to learn more.
If things fall its way in the next few days, Arkansas might be making a push to one day be known as Offensive Line U.
That’s because Razorback head coach Bret Bielema and his staff could land the pledges of both Chanhassen, Minn., star Frank Ragnow (6-6, 290) and Tucson, Ariz., Sabino standout Andrew Mike (6-7, 285).
Ragnow, being recruited by Razorback offensive line coach Sam Pittman, will announce his decision between Arkansas, Minnesota and Florida State Friday at 3:15 p.m.
“Arkansas, with Coach Bielema, he’s known for his running style of offense,” Ragnow said in a recent TV interview with Minneapolis station KSTP. “He loves linemen there.
“…Coach Pittman is their offensive line coach and he is one of the most well-known offensive line coaches in the country,” Ragnow added. “The main thing is they produce guys in the NFL and that’s a goal of mine.”
Arkansas signed a trio of standout offensive linemen in the 2013 class in starters Denver Kirkland (6-5, 345) and Dan Skipper (6-10, 317) and redshirt Reeve Koehler (6-3, 325).
The Razorbacks have three current pledges in the 2014 class in Brian Wallace (6-6, 300), Jovan Pruitt (6-5, 300) and Iowa Western’s Sebastian Tretola (6-5, 315).
Ragnow mentioned that Arkansas and Florida State did their best to keep him from staying home and playing for the Gophers while building relationships from afar.
“This one (Minnesota) is easier because you can see them more, but Florida State and Arkansas are facebook messaging you, they are IMing you on twitter, finding any way they can,” Ragnow said. “They are writing me letters.
“I’ve got one guy at Arkansas writing me – he’s not even a coach, he’s a football operations guy - and he writes me jokes every day and letters every day,” Ragnow added. “They do anything they can so we have still built a relationship and there are still phone calls so you are still building great relationships at both places.”
Ragnow said there is a reason that he is taken his time in announcing a decision.
“It’s funny like how people are saying “how come you haven’t made a decision already?’ Ragnow related. “I see kids committing that are juniors and sophomores. I can’t imagine that because this is like a life decision. I’m just taking my time.
“Each and every one of these schools, there has been a point where I think I am ready to commit,” Ragnow said. “Because right after a great visit, they will persuade because they are good at talking. That’s their job.
“I’m thinking ‘that’s my school’ until the next day when you get back on earth and you realize that I need to keep taking my time and make sure they are not saying this to every other kid in the country,” Ragnow added.
“That’s why these three are my top schools because they have been honest with me the whole time,” Ragnow continued.
Ragnow acknowledged that he might announce his decision in a very unique way.
“I’m known around my school to wear Crocs a lot,” Ragnow said. “I was thinking about putting three hats up for each school and then lean back and think ‘Oh, I can’t think about this’ and then my Crocs will be on the table with the school logo on it. That is what I kind of what to do.”
Mike has visited Arkansas and Florida officially, and Penn State unofficially and will visit Vanderbilt this weekend before announcing his decision on Monday.
He took his official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 17-19.
Mike is also high on Pittman.
“Love him,” Mike said. “Good guy and knows what he is talking about and can get guys to the league. Good guy, too, and really cares about the linemen.”