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Why 2023 QB Braylen Ragland committed to Georgia State over multiple SEC offers

Bartlett's three-star recruit had offers from Auburn, Tennessee and his hometown Memphis, but ultimately chose the Panthers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Football wasn't always the path for Braylen Ragland.

"In sixth or seventh grade, you couldn't tell me I wasn't going to the NBA," Bartlett High School's starting quarterback said.

His mom and dad both played college basketball, but Ragland forged his own path on the gridiron.

"When that light switch flipped with football, it was an easy transition," he said.

Ragland had offers from Auburn, Tennessee and Memphis, among others, but ultimately committed to Georgia State.

"I was most comfortable there," he said. "Talked with the coaches for a couple hours. Met with the OC and it felt like home."

That's because some of home was already at Georgia State. Olive Branch native Danterius Ellington is the Panthers tight ends coach and a former GSU quarterback. 

"I used to train with [him] when I was in middle school and he was playing in college," he said.

After spending most of his high school career at White Station High School, Ragland transferred to Bartlett this year. Despite his three-star status, head coach Lance Tucker gave him no guarantees.

"I told him when he came, the job is not his. He's got to go win the job," Tucker said. "We've got a really good young guy coming up and he had to beat him out."

He earned the starting job, then had to earn the respect of his new teammates.

"He won the team with his character," Tucker said. "He walked in with a huge smile on the first day and within 30 seconds everybody fell in love with him. Coaches, players and all. And that speaks volumes for a young man."

And for a team hoping to compete for the program's first state title.

"We're getting very close to being exactly where we want to be," Ragland said. "I have the best teammates in the world. So I think once we put everything together and get that all situated, I think we could easily be the best team in our region." 

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