Chanhassen offensive tackle Frank Ragnow chose the University of Arkansas over the University of Minnesota on Friday afternoon in his High School auditorium in front of roughly 400 people who cheered his decision. Ragnow is the #3 prospect in the state of Minnesota according to 247 sports.
The 247 sports crystal ball was 70/30 in favor of Minnesota just a few days ago, but as of Thursday night the trend was for Arkansas as numerous people were predicting Ragnow was headed to Fayettville. On Friday morning the gap had closed to close to 50/50 and the last handful of predictions were all for the Razorbacks, so the writing was definitely on the wall that Ragnow wasn’t going to be signing with the hometown Gophers.
So what went wrong? Gopher Illustrated’s Lucas Trickle had an interesting tweet just before Ragnow announced his decision.
I share the same opinion as Lucas. I think Frank always wanted to go to school away from home, not that there’s anything wrong with that! In fact, I thought Ragnow was very respectful of the process and if he was going to Arkansas all along he did as good of a job of including the home state Golden Gophers as a seasoned politician. He must not have wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings.
What does this mean for the offensive line moving forward? Frankly, the Gophers are still in excellent shape. They have a stockpile of highly regarded young lineman who are either committed or already in the program. Jonah Pirsig and Isaac Hayes were the two jewels of the 2012 class along with the now departed Philip Nelson, Andre McDonald, and Jamel Harbison. Hayes is a guard and Pirsig a tackle, and both are Minnesota kids, Pirsig hailing from Blue Earth and Hayes from Brooklyn Park. Both Hayes and Pirsig are redshirt sophomores. The Gophers also have center Conner Mayes from Van Alstyne, Texas committed, Mayes is considered the #9 ranked center prospect in the country according to 247 sports, and in my opinion he is underrated. Mayes is also good at breaking crystal balls, but unfortunately not good enough to talk Ragnow into committing to the Gophers.
The Gophers have lots of young talent and depth along the offensive line. It would have been nice to get Ragnow, but it certainly wasn’t a glaring miss, just because the Gophers can afford losing out on a prospect here probably more than at any other position.
So what now? The Gophers need to make sure they sign Minneapolis Washburn running back Jeff Jones, the top rated prospect in the state, who plans on announcing his decision on signing day next Wednesday. Jones is currently a soft commit for the Gophers and losing him on signing day would not be a good look.