Linebacker Johnny Ragin (Wilsonville, Ore./Wilsonville) held scholarship offers from several Pac-12 programs, but in the end, it was the complete package offered by BYU that led Ragin to the Cougars.
On Thursday, Ragin verbally committed to BYU over offers from California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon State.
"My mom and I sat down and got a chance to talk over everything BYU has to offer academically and athletically," Ragin said. "It really felt like the right place for me to be."
Ragin said the academic aspect was led by BYU's outstanding business school and athletically, it was the Cougars' defensive presense that sealed the deal.
"Their defense is traditionally a great defense," Ragin said. "That really pushed me over the top. They run a defensive scheme that I feel I could be very successful in. And with the relationship I have with the coaches, everything just came together."
The 6-foot-2, 208-pound standout said the Cougars staff sees him filling a role similar to standout linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the team's top defensive playmaker the past two seasons. There is a chance Van Noy could enter the NFL draft this spring, but if he returns to Provo, Ragin said he will do everything he can to learn from Van Noy on and off the field.
Whether Van Noy is there, Ragin said his relationship with position coach Kelly Poppinga went a long way in his recruitment as well.
"We connected a lot because of him being an outside linebacker," Ragin said. "He's really knowledgeable and a great coach."
Ragin said he could still take some official visits before signing day, but will definitely head to BYU on Jan. 18 as a part of a large group of Cougars commits that will be taking official visits that weekend.
"The whole process has been a blessing," Ragin said. "I know a lot of kids would like to be in this position. It's a great feeling knowing where I'm going to be spending the next four years."
Ragin gives the Cougars 27 commitments in the 2013 recruiting class, including four linebackers.