Ragin impressed with BYU defense

Oregon linebacker/fullback Johnny Ragin was able to catch some of BYU's 30-6 win over Washington State. The BYU recruit was very impressed with the way BYU's defense played.

BYU's defense put on a show for the home crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Back in Oregon, Johnny Ragin also caught most of the game and was impressed with BYU's tough defense.

"Yeah I watched the game live on ESPN and BYU played really well," Ragin said. "There were some great plays made. [Uona Kaveinga] made a great play with an interception that I saw. They played some great defense and that was great to see."

Ragin was interested in watching BYU outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, a player that Coach Poppinga has compared Ragin to.

"I was also watching out for Kyle Van Noy and saw him make some plays," said Ragin. "I saw him deflect a pass and that was pretty cool. He's a really good player and it was good to see the defense play really well."

Van Noy recorded four solo tackles, three quarterback hurries, two sacks and one pass breakup in the season opener. He was part of a defense that held Washington State's air raid offense to only 229 passing yards and -5 rushing yards.

"I was really impressed with the team overall," Ragin said. "When I went down there during fall camp with my mom, I knew they were working hard. It was just really cool to see all of their hard work pay off."

Coach Poppinga and the BYU coaching staff are looking at Ragin as a future Sam linebacker in their 3-4 defense. The performance by Coach Mendenhall's swarm defense endeared the Cougars even more to Ragin's heart.

"It just proved to me how good BYU is, and I really enjoyed watching the game on ESPN. They see me as a similar type player to Kyle Van Noy, but at the Sam position. I know Kyle plays Will but they want me to come in and play the Sam linebacker as a Kyle Van Noy type player, and think I can be a similar player there."

Although BYU is among the top college choices on his list, Ragin is keeping things open in order to make the most informed decision.

"Well, some of the coaches are just waiting to see this first week's game film. They want me to get it sent out to them," Ragin said. "They might want to evaluate this coming Friday's game film too, and then I think the main consensus was that they would get back to me and let me know where they stand. That's pretty much with the Pac-12 schools like Washington, Oregon, Cal, UCLA and then some out-of-conference schools like Nevada and Boise State."

Ragin's Wilsonville High School team lost its first game of the season.

"It goes 1A through 6A here in Oregon based on the size of the school. We're a 5A school and ended up playing a 6A school in Sprague High School," said Ragin. "We ended up losing 30-20 after we had the lead until late in the third quarter, but Tanner [Shipley] and I played really well. Tanner did really well and had 24 carries for, I think, 241 yards and three touchdowns, so he played really well.

"For my performance in the game, I had about nine tackles and then a couple assists on tackles. I also play fullback on offense and was a lead blocker for Tanner, but when I do get the ball it's either a trap or wedge play up the middle. I had three rushes for eight yards up the middle."

With a fullback like Ragin running in front of him, Shipley can give some credit to his close friend and teammate for his big outing.

"Well, he's a good running back," Ragin said about Shipley with a laugh. "He's working hard and just resting up for this next game."

Meanwhile, Ragin keeps in regular contact with Coach Poppinga and still holds BYU high on his list.

"I've just been in contact with Coach Poppinga and we've been talking about this upcoming season and how it's been going," Ragin said. "BYU is really high on my list and I really loved it down there in Provo. I'm just waiting to see to make the best decision with my mom."

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