Ragin watching with a keen eye

Outside linebacker Johnny Ragin from Wilsonville High School in Oregon has watched BYU's defense put on a dominant performance this season. He's also been watching some key players on that Cougar defense.

Last Friday, BYU outside linebacker recruit Johnny Ragin and his Wilsonville High School teammates destroyed their opponent.

"We're 3-1 right now and last Friday we played really well," Ragin said. "We beat Putnam High School 51-14 and I had nine tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble and a lot of quarterback hurries. It was a good game."

Meanwhile, last week BYU lost a tough battle on the road against Boise State. However, despite BYU's offense turning the ball over five times, the Cougar defense still held the Bronco offense scoreless.

"I was really impressed with BYU's defense not allowing Boise State to score a single point last week," Ragin said. "When you can do that against a Boise State offense, you know you're playing well. They're playing hard and tough and they're running on all cylinders. I'm sure offensively things will start to click and things didn't turn out the way they wanted."

While watching the game, Ragin focused more on the defensive play. What he saw by the Cougar defenders impressed him greatly.

"I was just watching the speed of the defense and saw a lot of great things," Ragin said. "They play fast and there is no hesitation at all. They hit hard and are not afraid to hit. Each player does his job and they do it really well, and I was really impressed by how well they play together as a defensive unit. I was very impressed."

An outside linebacker recruit, Ragin has watched how the linebackers are used in Coach Mendenhall's tough and aggressive defense.

"I was watching [Uona] Kaveinga a lot, number four," said Ragin. "I was watching Kyle Van Noy a lot and he played a great game coming off the edge. Watching him play, I was seeing if I could pick up a couple of things from him to incorporate into my own season and then bring that to the college level next year. They play with a lot of cohesion and aggression and aren't afraid to go hit someone. There's a lot of passion on that defense and it's great to see how well they play together."

So what do the Cougars need to do to get things going offensively?

"I really can't say," Ragin said. "They have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and they're doing a great job. They just got to put it all together and get things going. Once they do, I think it will click and then they'll be really successful."

Seeing how BYU's defense has played, Ragin likes knowing he could be a part of that dominant defense in the near future, should he commit to BYU.

"Whenever I see a team that's recruiting me do well, I get excited. It makes me want to be a part of the program and see what I can do to help out the team."

Ragin keeps in close contact with Coach Poppinga, who is recruiting him to play outside linebacker.

"Yeah, we've talking and we talk every week," said Ragin. "Things are going really well. He hasn't really pressured me too much, and when the time is right I'll make the right decision. He just wants me to be a part of the program."

Oregon State is the other Division I college that has offered Ragin a scholarship. Last Saturday, the Beavers upset No. 19 UCLA in their conference opener.

"Yeah, Oregon State played really well," Ragin said. "They have one of the best defenses I've seen from them in a long time. They're playing great and the program is heading in the right direction."

With their 27-20 victory over the Bruins, Oregon State broke into the top 25. OSU is No. 18 in the Associated Press poll and No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

This is the first time the Beavers have been ranked in the top 25 since October 11, 2010, setting up a great showdown when they play BYU in Provo on October 13.

"Yeah, I'll be really excited for that game and I'll be home watching it on TV," Ragin said. "I know Brayden Kearsley, Dallin Leavitt and Tanner [Shipley] will be up there in Utah for that home game. I won't be able to make it up there because I have some prior arrangements, but I know they'll all be up there in Provo for that game. It should be a good one."

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