Ragin among top S.P.A.R.Q. performers

BYU recruit Johnny Ragin was among the nation's top S.P.A.R.Q. performers at a combine that was held at the Nike World Headquarters last week. Ragin also played a key role in helping his team win the national seven-on-seven tournament that was televised on ESPNU.

The Nike World Headquarters are located in Beaverton, Oregon, and BYU recruit Johnny Ragin was invited to attend a four-day camp there filled with S.P.A.R.Q. testing, football training and a seven-on-seven national tournament. The invitation-only event was for the top 150 players in the nation.

The first day featured a tour of the facilities. The next day featured S.P.A.R.Q testing and the football training camp.

With some of the nation's top skill-position players in attendance, Ragin put in an impressive performance.

"I did really well and was rated the 24th out of the top 150 players in the nation for the S.P.A.R.Q. testing," said Ragin, who plays for Wilsonville High School in Oregon. "My S.P.A.R.Q. score ended up being 112.28. I had a 32-inch vertical leap along with a 42.5-foot power ball. I ran a 4.16 shuttle and ran a 4.6 forty but they said I had a rolling start. They clocked another I had to do after I was tired at a 4.8, but I'm more in a consistent range of a 4.6."

The following day, the nation's top players were split up into teams for a seven-on-seven tournament.

"Out of the top 150 players in the nation, we were split up into six teams," said Ragin. "I was on a team with Kendal Fuller [five-star cornerback rated the number two prospect in the country by Scout], Shaquille Wiggins [nation's 10th-ranked cornerback] and Cooper Bateman, the quarterback out of Utah. We had a lot of good players like L.J. Moore [five-star cornerback ranked 20th in the nation at his position], and he played running back."

Ragin's team got off to a rough start but was ultimately very successful.

"We ended up on the first day of pool play going 1-2, so we were in the fourth seed out of six," Ragin said. "Then the next day came and we won our first two games. Then we ended up losing one. We won our semifinal game and was fortunate enough to get into the championship game. In our semifinal game, along with our championship game, it was nationally televised on ESPNU.

"I was the linebacker on our team and we ended up getting into the championship. Our final championship game was televised on ESPNU and we won the seven-on-seven national championship. That was awesome!"

As for recruiting, Ragin has regular contact with BYU.

"Things are going really great and I've been talking with Coach Poppinga and we're staying in touch all the time when we can these past few weeks," said Ragin. "My mom and I are planning on heading out to Provo on August 24th for an unofficial visit to see what she thinks and see how it goes."

While Ragin has experienced BYU, now it's time to help his mother understand more about BYU.

"It's really important for me to have my mom come out and watch me play now and then," said Ragin. "I know she won't be able to come out and watch me play every game down in Provo, but every now and then it would be great to have her come down and watch me play.

"Where I play will be dependent upon if my mom really likes the place, because I really take her word and it will have a big effect on my decision. Having her come down and see things for herself will be a big step in that direction, so we'll be heading down there so she can see things for herself."

As of this time, however, Ragin's mother does already feel good about the school.

"From what she's seen she loves it so far," Ragin said. "She watched the BYU channel and saw the True Blue show and got some perspective of the up-and-coming season. She liked what she saw and the review of the team and what Coach Mendenhall had to say. We'll see how things go on the 3rd and 4th."

If Ragin chooses BYU, then when his mother is not able to attend home games in person, she'll be able to watch them live on TV.

"BYU is the only college team with a sole contract with ESPN, whereas other teams aren't shown on ESPN because of conference contracts," said Ragin. "I think that's pretty cool and says a lot about BYU, so she'll be able to catch all the BYU games – if I go there – live on TV."

If Ragin decides to choose BYU, he'll be able to play alongside current high school teammate and best friend Tanner Shipley, who has already committed to BYU.

"Oh yeah, it's awesome and a blessing to know that we could be playing together," Ragin said about Shipley, a wide receiver. "I know Tanner is very happy with his commitment to play at BYU. He's really excited and loves it down there. It would be a blessing to play with him if I choose to go there.

"I actually just talked to Tanner the other day. The first thing I did when I got home from winning the seven-on-seven national championship was go over and spend some time with my coach and Tanner at their house and had some dinner to watch the rerun of the championship game. We're really close and we've been best friends since the second grade. He's been great through the whole process and hasn't pressured me too much. He's pretty laid back about things and knows when the time comes that I'll make the right decision, but we would love to play together so we'll see what happens."

Ragin has come to know another BYU commit in Dallin Leavitt very well.

"Yeah, Dallin is a very good safety, very good safety," said Ragin. "He's really, really good. He has great eyes for the ball, great speed and great strength as well. If you find the ball, Dallin will be there nearby. He's pretty unstable at the safety position and I think he could possibly be one of the best safeties at the high school level and in college football. He's very underrated from what I've seen."

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