FAYETTEVILLE — Off Arkansas’ realigned offensive line, Frank Ragnow lines up with honors going into the Razorbacks’ SEC opener Saturday night against the Texas A&M Aggies.
Arkansas, 3-0, and ranked 17th and 18th in the AP and coaches polls, and A&M, 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC West and ranked 10th and 13th in the AP and coaches polls, collide at 8 p.m. on ESPN at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Ragnow, a junior from Chanhassen, Minn. was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week Monday by the SEC Office in Birmingham, Ala. for his performance in Arkansas’ 42-3 rout of Texas State last Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Snapping every snap as the starting center in Arkansas’ 21-20 victory over Louisiana Tech in Fayetteville and 41-38 double-overtime victory over TCU in Fort Worth, Ragnow against Texas State graded 92 percent, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said, starting at right guard, the position he started all 13 games in 2015.
Junior Jake Raulerson, previously the starting right guard, and sophomore Zach Rogers alternated at center against Texas State while redshirt freshman Colton Jackson of Conway and third-year sophomore Brian Wallace alternated at right tackle.
Senior Dan Skipper, the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, the previous week for his performance against TCU, and sophomore Hjalte Froholdt are fixtures at left tackle and left guard.
Ragnow, the backup center and reserve guard as a 2014 freshman, will remain starting at right guard against Texas A&M while Raulerson and Rogers at center and right tackles again Jackson and Wallace again ill split time, Bielema said.
Skipper, a senior, is Arkansas’ best known offensive lineman and the tallest (6-10) in college football and versatile having started at guard and both tackles during his Razorbacks career.
But Ragnow is even more versatile having played both guards and center and likely would be Arkansas’ best right tackle, too, Bielema said.
However, now that Raulerson and Rogers are stepping up at center, Ragnow bests help the team not only as its best right guard but as the next-door neighbor both assisting the centers and helping Jackson and Wallace grow into SEC right tackles, Bielema said.
"He can communicate with the center and he can communicate with the tackle," Bielema said. "I think he graded out over 90 percent, only had two or three minuses on the day. I think a lot of that was having comfort in the guy next to him. And on the flip side,I know he helped Jake and Zach out at the center position a lot as well."
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos extolled Ragnow’s willingness to fit wherever the rest of the line’s dictate that he fits..
"He’s unselfish in the fact that he’ll do whatever," Enos said. "He could play tackle for us if we needed him to, but he’s at guard. We like to pull our guards and do things with them. That fits his skill set very well. He’s just a tremendous player with great intellect. That helps him, and it’s going to help him as he leaves here as well to be able to say he’s been a guy that snapped, played center and also could play guard for a team."
Previously listed Arkansas’ backup middle linebacker to senior Brooks Ellis, junior 2-year-letterman Khalia Hackett won’t be on this week’s tra
It was announced Monday that Arkansas’ Oct. 1 nonconference game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock against Alcorn State will kick off at 11 a.m. and be televised on the SEC Network Alternate channel. Arkansas’ lone Little Rock appearance for 2016 also marks its final nonconference game.