Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema announced on Monday that first-team All-SEC offensive lineman Frank Ragnow will miss the rest of the season. He suffered a high ankle sprain in Saturday’s 52-20 loss to Auburn. Ragnow had started 33 consecutive games including that game with 18 coming at center and 15 coming at right guard.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound lineman was named to Phil Steele’s All-SEC First Team last season and was a preseason All-American first team selection by Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports. Bielema said the injury would require surgery and that the recovery “about 12 weeks”, which would definitely put Ragnow out for the rest of the season. Bielema was incredibly complimentary of Ragnow and thinks he should go high in the NFL Draft when the time comes.
“The sad part is he’s playing absolutely unbelievable football. I’ve had a handful of offensive linemen drafted in the first round and he is at their level if not even higher. I put him in the same category as guys like Kevin Zeitler (Cleveland Browns), a guy who started as a rookie and was a first-round draft pick, and Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns). The thing about Frank is he’s an exceptional football mind, and he’s an exceptional athlete for a big guy. At 315 pounds, his genetics, the way he runs, the ability to bend, move, flex, and his competitive nature, is just off the charts.
“I’ve had several NFL people tell me during the course of his first seven weeks of the season that he’s probably playing not just as the best interior lineman but one of the best linemen in the country they’ve seen all year. He was playing at a high, high level. I’ve never seen a player play as dominant as he’s been through seven games.”
The Razorbacks are 2-5 on the season and face Ole Miss in Oxford on Saturday. Arkansas is in the middle of the SEC when it comes to rushing the ball averaging about 160 yards on the ground per game and that could fall off with Ragnow out for the season and potentially missing freshman lineman Chase Hayden.
[h/t Yahoo Sports]