Frank Ragnow on the sidelines with teammates during Chanhassen's football practice September 5, 2013.
Standing 6 feet 6 and weighing somewhere north of 285 pounds, Chanhassen offensive tackle Frank Ragnow looks as if he came straight out of Central Casting.
It’s a role the jovial Ragnow lives for, loyal and friendly and always up for a good time. Often, that good time involves planting opposing players in the dirt, but it’s all in the name of fun.
For Ragnow, nothing is more fun than football.
“I love football,” Ragnow said. “This season, when we went on a seven-game winning streak, it was the funnest season I’ve ever had.”
But even the most enjoyable things have a downside. For Ragnow, that has been the nearly constant barrage of questions from recruiting fanatics on Twitter and Internet blogs, all looking for the scoop on his college choice.
“He’s not as open as he once was because he’s worried about how he’s going to come across,” said longtime friend Sam Loeffler, a wide receiver on the football team. “He’s always got kids coming up to him and asking him where he’s going, telling him where to go. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be him.”
Things got so hectic that three weeks ago Ragnow tweeted that he would not be speaking to anyone regarding his recruiting until he had narrowed things down to three finalists.
“It’s been mostly nuts,” Ragnow said. “The guys from Minnesota and around here, I’ll talk to. But the guys from places like Miami and other places, they get kind of weird. They’ll tweet things that have nothing to do with football, trying to get my attention.”
As Signing Day gets closer, Ragnow’s national profile continues to grow. Of Rivals.com’s top 50 Class of 2014 offensive line prospects, Ragnow is one of just 10 yet to commit. He recently declared that his three finalists are Minnesota, Arkansas and Florida State, but he’s not quite ready to make a decision.
“To be honest, I’m still undecided,” he said.
Until then, Loeffler expects him to be the same old Frank.
“I remember when we were in sixth grade and we rode our bikes to Subway,” Loeffler said. “He was big then — he’s always been big — and he was holding a cookie in his hand. A woman in a car hit him. Not hard, just a bump, but enough to knock him down. He went down, but he saved the cookie.
“That’s Frank. Never a negative word, always optimistic.”
Ragnow admits, however, that he’s ready to take the next step in his football career.
“It’s always been my dream to play Division I football and play in the NFL, but I never envisioned this,” he said. “It will be a big relief when it’s over so I can focus on being the best college football player I can be.”