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Redlands' Ragsdale Likes Leadership Role

September 29, 1998|SCOTT MOE

Leading a college football team is easy for Danny Ragsdale. He wants someday to lead this country.

"I want to be president of the United States," the Redlands quarterback said.

Ragsdale, a senior, has a 3.7 grade-point average and is applying for a Rhodes scholarship, which would allow him to study politics at Oxford University in England.

"I want to do something with my leadership skills to help people out," Ragsdale said. "People have listened to my ideas and I have always been a leader."

And he's a leader on the football field too.

After starting the season as a wide receiver and catching a Division III-best 12 passes for 170 yards in a season-opening loss, Ragsdale moved to quarterback and has led the Bulldogs (2-1) to consecutive victories.

Starting quarterback Marty Rincon was lost for the season with a knee injury in the final preseason scrimmage. Backup John Anderson struggled against Linfield in the opener, so Ragsdale, preseason All-American who caught a school-record 63 passes in 1997, was under center at the next practice.

It's a return to the position Ragsdale played when he started at Redlands.

"The move to receiver two years ago was supposed to be final," Coach Mike Maynard said. "But [after Rincon's injury] we didn't want to change our offense to suit one person."

Instead, Maynard changed quarterbacks.

In Ragsdale's two starts, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents, 68-13, beating Division I-AA San Diego, 19-13.

With Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play beginning this weekend against Occidental, Ragsdale said his team deserves to be a favorite.

"La Verne, Cal Lutheran and Whittier are always tough," he said. "But if you wouldn't have us on top, you'd be stupid."

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