OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Alabama linebacker and defensive captain Reggie Ragland is one of 10 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes who were selected as finalists for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Ragland chose to forgo the NFL Draft and returned for his senior season to complete his degree in consumer affairs. Looking to fulfill a promise he made to his mother that he would earn his degree while at The University of Alabama, Ragland is scheduled to graduate this December in three and a half years. Not only a leader on the field, he is a member of the Crimson Tide’s senior leadership council, setting an example for underclassmen on how a student-athlete should carry himself at the University, on and off the field.
Perhaps his biggest contribution while in Tuscaloosa has been his dedication to volunteering in the community each of the last four years. Ragland put together an impressive list of volunteering opportunities and has gone above and beyond what is asked of Alabama student-athletes during his time with the Tide. In all, he has totaled 50-plus hours of community service across double-digit volunteer opportunities that include visits to hospitals, schools and churches.
On the field, the senior captain has been a force for one of the nation’s top-ranked defensive units. Earning Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi Award Semifinalist recognition for his play, he leads the Crimson Tide in tackles with 74 and has been the team leader in stops in seven of nine games so far. He has added 5.5 tackles for loss (-20 yards) with 2.5 sacks (-10 yards), while also breaking up four passes, recording three quarterback hurries and forcing two fumbles.
This year’s finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through Dec. 14. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January.