In this age of instant information, there aren't many secrets on the recruiting trail. However, you can forgive college recruiters if it took a little longer than normal to discover Southern Durham (NC) standout Sherman Ragland.
At 6-0, 185 pounds, the rising senior projects at safety but has spent the lion's share of his high school career at defensive end. It wasn't until the spring combines cranked up that Ragland was able to display his college-caliber potential at defensive back.
It all started with a phenomenal showing at the National Underclassman Combine where he came away with overall MVP honors. He followed that up with a solid showing against may of the east coast's top player at the Nike Camp held in Blacksburg, Va. The rising senior then put up great numbers at the Shrine Bowl combine held at Butler High School- recording a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, 4.34-second pro shuttle, 36.4-inch vertical jump and 19 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press.
Once colleges were able to see Ragland work out in person during the spring evaluation period, the offers began to pour in. First came South Carolina, followed by NC State and Wake Forest. East Carolina followed suit with an offer as did Virginia. With that, Ragland established himself as one of North Carolina's more sought-after players. Pack Pride recently talked with the rising senior about his recruiting and where he's leaning in this Q&A.
How did it feel landing all those offers in one week?
"It feels good with all the coaches coming after you. A lot of them tell you the same things so you can tell who's being real with you and who's kind of shooting you some stuff. But it's been great getting to know all these different colleges and seeing where you can fit in."
Coach Reed and coach Swepson came by and saw you work out and then you went over to State the next day and they offered you. How did that go?
"They walked me around and showed me the wonderful facilities at NC State. One of the most important things I look at when I go to see these colleges is how I will get along, is there like a natural communication and not awkward talking to them. I definitely can talk to coach Reed and coach Swepson. I feel like I can talk to them about anything, not just football. The visit was great but I didn't get to meet any of the players which is something I'd like to do before I make my decision at any of the colleges I'm looking at."
You reportedly grew up a UNC fan. What is your interest in Carolina and what has been their interest level in you?
"I've talked to coach Browning over at UNC, and I've been over there a couple of times. Growing up, I was a UNC fan and I still am to this day but they haven't offered yet so I don't know what their interest level is in me. Where ever I go I want to feel like I'm wanted."
So who would be your top schools right now?
"It's a deadlock tie between Wake Forest and NC State."
Can you talk a little about why those two schools are your favorites right now?
"With Wake Forest, all their coaches seem like good, Christian guys. They really harp on the team being a family and no one player runs the team and I'm more of a team player so I like to be around the atmosphere where the team's first.
"At NC State, they've come at me the hardest and as a player, you want to play for coaches that want you there. Along with that, I'm close friends with TC (Creecy) and he's going there and my friend Garrett Leatham from Middle Creek, he has a lot of interest in NC State and Rob Crisp is there so they're just bringing in a good recruiting class with high goals. I say this in a lot of my interviews, but I love the fan support at NC State. They have 60,000 fans and it's crazy there."
At this point, are there any schools that you'd like to get an offer from and do you plan to camp anywhere to try to pick up some additional offers?
"I'm not one of those kids that wants a whole bunch of offers. I want to be at a school that wants me and then dedicate myself to that school to play football. But I do plan to go to some camps with my team to help some of my teammates. We're going to South Florida, East Carolina, Ohio State and Clemson."
Have you decided on a timeframe for getting recruiting out of the way?
"I definitely thought about getting recruiting out of the way before my senior season starts. I don't want to have that distraction during the season. It may not be a distraction to me but it may be for my teammates. I want to be able to give my team my 100% effort. It's hard to put a time limit on something like that because you never know when that love's going to strike and you'll be ready to accept that offer from whatever college."
Pack, Deacs Lead for Ragland
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