It will likely take Mike Ragone (6-foot-5, 230-pounds) more effort to get back to the top after suffering a knee injury, but work ethic isn't something he lacks.
"I'm doing real good. I'm running and lifting," Ragone replied when asked how his workouts were progressing. "Everything is on schedule. I might be a couple weeks ahead of schedule. I've been working out every day.
"My trainer is Keith Jackson and I've had him for three years now. I also have a physical therapist. I've had therapy every day and then I work with my trainer three days a week. In the morning we run and at night we go into the pool and workout.
"I'm not going to practice until probably September," Ragone said. "I'll miss four games and then I'll play. I want to get back as soon as possible but I want to take it slow because of Notre Dame.
Ragone would like to take his time getting back into action, but he has plenty of motivation to prove that he is the same player he was prior to his injury.
"Scout.com put me at No.4 [tight end]. I'm going to show them I'm not No.4, I'm No.1 and that I'm the best. All summer I've been focused on proving everyone wrong. I've been like a racehorse. I've been like a monster.
"I'm pretty sure that I'm going to play in the U.S. Army All-American game and I want to show everyone that New Jersey is the place and I want to show everyone that I'm back.
"I know where I stand. I know I'm a Top-25 player," Ragone said. "I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to Notre Dame, and I'm going to show everybody what's going on. I'm going to do it, just watch. Forget ratings and all that, but it kind of got me mad at the time."
As a junior, Ragone caught 46 passes for 560 yards and scored eight touchdowns.