DALLAS – Adding another preseason honor to his already impressive resume, Arkansas senior center Frank Ragnow was named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy on Thursday.
The award is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). Ragnow is one of 60 offensive linemen and one of 19 centers named to the preliminary list of candidates for 2017. Only centers, guards and tackles on offense or defense are eligible for Outland Trophy consideration.
Also a Rimington Trophy candidate, Ragnow already boasts spots on several preseason All-America teams, including earning first-team honors from Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports as well as second-team status from Sporting News. He is also a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
The Victoria, Minnesota, native has made 26 straight starts heading into his senior campaign with 14 starts at right guard and 12 at center. He was named the nation’s best offensive lineman, best run blocker and a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus (PFF) for the 2016 season. He helped clear the way for running back Rawleigh Williams III to capture the SEC regular-season rushing title and finish with 1,360 yards and provided time for quarterback Austin Allen to throw for an SEC-best 3,430 yards. Ragnow blocked for nine 100-plus yard rushing games, including seven from Williams and two from freshman Devwah Whaley, and four 300-plus yard passing games from Allen.
Ragnow graded out as the top center in the nation by PFF twice last year after his performances during wins over then-No. 11 Florida and at Mississippi State. He graded out as a top three center in five of 12 regular-season games and earned an 80 percent grade or higher from PFF seven times. According to PFF, Ragnow didn’t allow a sack for the second straight season and decreased his total number of pressures allowed from 19 in 2015 to just 12.
Ragnow also was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week on Sept. 18, 2016, for his efforts in his start at right guard against Texas State. He graded out at a career-best 92 percent and helped Arkansas rush for 226 yards and three scores in the 42-3 win.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner.