- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
An influx of Big Ten and BCS coaches made the trip to Minnesota during the spring evaluation period to check in on Malik Rucker (New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper), and Rucker has 16 scholarships to show for it.
Rucker has offers from programs in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and several non-AQ conferences. And during the spring, Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Tulsa all visited Rucker at his school.
Illinois was the latest Big Ten team to offer Rucker, and the 5-foot-11, 175-pound safety was impressed at the attention the staff showed him. Coach Tim Beckman and nearly all of the coaching staff was on the phone with Rucker.
“They like the way I run and fill alleys, like how I cover, like how I’m fluid, like me as an all-around athlete,” Rucker said. “I should be able to get out there this summer. I’m pretty sure I will.”
As of now, Rucker is not positive which schools he will visit during the summer, but he plans on hitting the road. Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas are three programs that will likely receive a second visit from Rucker.
“I have seen most of Iowa, the campus, been to meetings with their academic advisors,” Rucker said. “Me and my dad have seen most of it. I just want my mom to see it, though.”
Rucker also wants his mom to see Kansas.
“Just how serious they are with academics,” Rucker said that's what he wants his mom to see most. “When we went there it was real nice and the facilities were nice. I want to show her the facilities and the student-athlete academic center.”
Rucker said he has no favorites.
487dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert