Schools from California to Florida State found out where Chanhassen High School was this year. Their standout prospect Frank Ragnow drew interest from coast to coast and drew offers from 17 programs and after many visits, in-homes and sit downs with his family, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman announced his choice at his high school today.
"It's going to be Arkansas," he told Scout.
It came down to the Razorbacks and home-state Minnesota, and while it appeared the Golden Gophers were making a strong late push, he says there were a lot of reasons to go with Arkansas.
"The SEC, Coach Pittman and Coach Bielema's track record and the ability to contribute to the team early and the comfort, not only with the staff but with the players. I just loved it. It feels right for me."
Distance never seemed to be a factor for Ragnow who also considered Florida State and other programs more than a hop, skip and a jump away from his home, but he also felt as though the people and environment in Fayetteville would help him mitigate any potential issues he would have being farther away.
"When I visited, we went to Coach Bielema's house and Coach Pittman's house and they made me feel at home. It was like I was another one of the guys and we just joked around and talked about more than football. I know they'll take care of me. One of the senior players, Travis Swanson, who is getting drafted in the NFL this year, talked about how different it is from the old staff at Arkansas because now there's an open door policy and they all hang out in the coaches offices and are going to Coach Pittman's house in the Summer. It's a family."
Ragnow played defensive end and offensive tackle in high school, but is ranked as a guard by Scout. He learned recently that the Razorbacks want him to move even further inside, but it is a move he is more than ready to make.
"They want me to play early and they want me to play center," he said. "I was nervous about it to start. It was a weird idea, but I'm excited about it after to talking to Coach Pittman. After talking to him, it sounds like a good idea."
Chanhassen High has not had a football recruited to the level Ragnow did. It has been quite the journey for him and how fortunate he is to have gone through the process and to be heading off to play BCS ball and earn his education for free is not lost on him.
"I don't even know how to put it into words," he admitted. "I remember being a freshman and seeing a kid who was a senior talking to a smaller school and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Now, I got to see everything from Western Michigan to Alabama, I met a Heisman winner. I saw it all.
"Through the process, I met so many good people and made so many good connections. It was life changing. It was the coolest thing in the world. At the same time, it was a long process and all the schools were a good fit. No one is ever really a bad fit, you just have to determine what's best for you. It's going to be a dream come true getting this chance. I've always wanted to play in the NFL and I'm going to the SEC, there's no better way to get there."