FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and his assistants weren’t going to force center Frank Ragnow into playing Saturday against No. 1 Alabama, even if he was back in town.
“We weren’t necessarily going to play him unless we felt really good about his state of mind and where he was,” Bielema said.
Those two things weren’t problems, and Ragnow played in the Razorbacks’ 49-30 loss to the Crimson Tide at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Just one week ago, Ragnow got word his father, Jon, died of a heart attack. Jon Ragnow’s death came shortly after he watched the Hogs beat Alcorn State from his home in Victoria, Minn.
Bielema and his wife, Jen, flew to Minnesota with Ragnow after they learned the terrible news.
Although Frank Ragnow didn’t return to Fayetteville until Thursday, he stayed in touch with teammates and coaches, studying the game plan from hundreds of miles away.
“Really had no issues picking up what they were lining up in or making the correct calls,” Bielema said of Ragnow’s performance. “I’ll look at the film, but I thought he played a fairly good game.
“I know this one hurt afterward; I had a chance to grab him before he walked off the field. He’s a very, very strong kid. An incredible football player. But obviously a really good person and a great son.”