Bears in the Mix With Ragin

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By Jim McGill, Staff Writer
Posted Jan 15, 2013
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2014 BearInsider.com


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Every day it seems that the new Cal staff is adding a new name to the mix as the Bears move towards the final few weeks of the recruiting season. Wilsonville (Wilsonville, OR) High School linebacker Johnny Ragin III was one of the latest offered before taking an official visit to Cal over the weekend.

The 6-2/220 linebacker definitely passes the eyeball test, somewhat reminiscent of former Cal linebacker and Pac 10 Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks, now in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.

A BYU commit since December, the Bears late offer was appealing to the 3 star linebacker, especially from an academic standpoint as a 4.0 student.

"Cal's academics are really strong†so that's really important to me in what I'm looking for in a school."†

Joining current commits and incoming students Jerod Goff, Matt Anderson and Drake Whitehurst on his trip, Ragin clearly felt comfortable and he fit in well with the other players, as well.

"Johnny's a great guy," said incoming QB Jared Goff. "He really seemed comfortable and like he fit in well with all of us. Having a smaller group, we got to know each other all a lot better than if there were a bunch of players.

"He's a really big dude and it would be great to have him join us in our class."

"It was a great visit," said Ragin. "I got a chance to meet Coach Barry Sacks already since he recruited me when he was at Nevada†so we†kind of had†a relationship†but it was†a good opportunity to meet the other coaches and get to know them, like Coach (Sonny) Dykes and Coach (Andy) Buh and the other coaches.

"Getting to see the facilities and getting to know what Berkeley is like was cool.

"It was cold down there but they said that was unusual weather so hopefully I can make another trip down there.

"I was surprised. I was wearing shorts and everyone was laughing at me. I expected it to be warm."

Ragin joined Wilsonville teammate Tanner Shipley as a commit to the Cougars and that played a bit of a role in Ragin's commitment, though he's clearly considering other programs.

"That was just icing on the cake for me, really," said Ragin. "We both were going to go to the college that best suited us. That just happened to be BYU.

"They have the honor code there, which I like a lot and they have a good coaching staff. They also play a style of defense I like with the 3-4. As an outside linebacker, I'd get to do a lot of things that could maximize my talent. And their business program there is a good one, as well."

Though BYU is a predominantly-Morman program, Ragin wasn't scared off by the notion, as he was able to find common ground in enough areas to be comfortable.

"It's not too big of a deal," said Ragin. "Like I said, I like their honor code and it's a nice area. Having a different religion isn't that big a deal to me."

"I just really like the atmosphere there," said Ragin. "The coaching staff seems like they have a really great plan so that was reassuring.

"I really like the facilities. They really have top-notch facilities down there. I'd seen some of the pictures and videos but there's really nothing like seeing it for yourself to do it justice.

"I definitely feel like Cal's going to be a quality program and I had a great visit."

Following his visit to Cal, Ragin will wrap up his recruiting season with official visits to BYU on the 18th and Iowa on the 25th.

"I'm going to sit down and talk with my mom and go over all the pros and cons of each place and decide which place is the best spot for me and best fit for me," said Ragin. "A place that will set me up for life in the next few years and beyond.

"A place I feel comfortable at and thrive academically and on the field are really the things I'm looking for in making a good decision."

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