"I love Alabama's defense."

Reggie Ragland, five-star linebacker from Madison-Bob Jones, Ala., talked 'Why Alabama' along with his head coach who talked in-depth of the No. 1 rated linebacker in the country by Scout.com.


Scout.com Rating: Five-star
Scout.com Rank: No. 1 Linebacker
Size: 6-foot-4, 245-pounds
High School: Madison, Ala. (Bob Jones)
Projected Position: Inside Linebacker
Stats: Ragland recorded 97 tackles with 22 tackles for loss and six sacks during the 2011 season. He added 25 quarterback hurries.

Commit Date: 12/30/2010
Recruiting Competition: Auburn

Strengths/Improvements: "I feel like I have progressed as a smarter football player. I have to get more physical and get stronger in the weight room. It's nice to be compared to other players [Rolando McClain]. I have to keep working hard to become a great player.

Why Alabama: "The fans, coaching staff and players. The real reason is the academics. Players are always graduating on time. They are No. 1 in the SEC in graduation rate. That was a big thing for me. I have a great relationship with the coaches. They were a big reason for my commitment to Alabama. I just always knew Alabama was right for me. They really sold it for me. I love Alabama's defense. They always play fast. They play together. I will play inside linebacker at Alabama. I am really looking forward to that."

Coach Quotes: "He's been a joy to coach which has been very refreshing I guess in this day and age," said Bob Jones head coach Kevin Rose. "For someone that has garnered as much national attention as Reggie, he has remained very humble in the process."

"I know he committed to Alabama very early, and I think he's been, from day one, solid in that commitment. Of course when you have a national championship program within your own state you would certainly see where kids would grow up wanting to be a part of that.

"I know his mom and dad have always been really active and really supportive of him. He's been one of these guys that plays basketball and played a bunch of travel ball so he's been very competitive since a very young age.

"He's not vocal like a rah-rah guy, but he's vocal in that he's got a real good rapport with the other kids. He can walk in to a locker room that he doesn't know a kid there and within 15 minutes he can become the leader, the spokesperson and have a good relationship with any people from any walk of life. He has a great personality.

"You go from a situation in high school where honestly he was probably athletically better than 99-percent of the players he faced. Now you are going to go on to a situation where everybody there is as good as you are or better. You've got to not only play at a faster pace, but you've got to play consistently at a faster pace. You can't just turn it on. You have to play at that pace every play. I think that is the challenge for any player going from high school to college.

"I think he could be really successful in the tight end role like they used the (Brad) Smelley kid this year or at linebacker. He has great hands. He's a great basketball player. As a matter of fact I personally think it's a more natural position for him, but we'll see.



Andrew Bone says: Alabama is known for producing great linebackers, and Reggie Ragland is the next great one to come along for the Tide. He has the size of a defensive end, but plays with the speed of a 220-pound player. He does a great job reading plays and is an excellent sideline-to-sideline tackler. He is physical and does a great job running downhill.

"He is a big-bodied linebacker who is very athletic and has a chance to have a great career at Alabama. Ragland solidified himself as the top rated linebacker recruit in the country by Scout.com."

Rebecca Johnston contributed to this report.

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