A day after four-star, all-everything quarterback Grant Tisdale committed to the Ole Miss Rebels, another 2019 prospect decided to pull the trigger and join the #MississippiMade Movement.
Three-star defensive back Braxton Ragland unofficially visited last weekend and it was obviously enough because now he has verbally committed to Matt Luke and Co. The Odenville, Ala. native and Saint Clair County High School safety chose the Rebs over early offers from Alabama A&M, Chattanooga, Jacksonville, State, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, Troy, and Tulane among others.
The No. 84-ranked safety in the country per 247Sports’ rankings transferred to SCCHS after attending Leeds High School and should be a leader on the Fighting Saints’ defense this season as a senior. With Ragland’s commitment following up Tisdale’s and Diwun Black’s, the Ole Miss class is now ranked No. 2 in the country and the Southeastern Conference.
If Saint Clair sounds familiar, that’s because Ole Miss 2018 signee Jalen Cunningham went there. And Ragland definitely built a lasting relationship with him. Rebel Grove’s Russell Johnson spoke with Ragland after the commitment and he reiterated that sentiment and detailed why he decided to pull the trigger.
“I called coach (Derrick) Nix on Thursday and told him I was ready to be a Rebel,” Ragland said about the commitment.
Ragland chose Ole Miss over other offers from several G5 programs mentioned above, and interest coming from Clemson and Auburn, among other Power 5 programs.
”Coach Nix was fired up when I told him,” Ragland said. “He and I have built a great relationship. I can always count on (Nix) to keep it real, and we always have great conversations. They’ve built a great staff, who are willing to work with you and make things happen. It’s a great place to be.”
Ragland also talked about how he’s ready to get busy in Oxford, his new home.
“They’re willing to work with me there in Oxford, and for me to have the chance to call that place home, I love it. It’s time to take care of business and get this thing rolling.”
How does he fit in?
The 6’0, 190-pound athlete from the Yellowhammer State is a hybrid defensive back/linebacker who will benefit from a college strength and conditioning program and could potentially grow into a 6’2, 200-pounder who becomes the next Tony Conner playing that hybrid linebacker position that is so prevalent in college football these days.
He is a quick-twitch athlete who arrives with a bad attitude when he gets to the ball carrier. He can come downhill and make a tackle inside the box and he can turn his hips and cover receivers at the third level. But where Ragland is really going to make the proverbial money is in coverage at the second level with running backs out of the backfield and tight ends in the flat. The newest Rebel will be a contributor very quickly whether it be on special teams or offering up quality depth in the secondary.