- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Three-star safety Malik Rucker (New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) told a few members of the Iowa staff he was committing on Tuesday. He did not want to officially commit until Friday, though, when he was on campus and could tell coach Kirk Ferentz face to face.
“I knew at the beginning of the week I was ready. I told coach [Eric] Johnson on Tuesday, but I told him don’t tell coach Ferentz yet because I wanted to tell him myself,” Rucker said. “I came down to Iowa City (on Friday) and gave him my commit.
"He was real excited. He said he’s been waiting to hear that and knew I was smart and was going to come to Iowa.”
Rucker, the No. 2 prospect in Minnesota, had a top seven that also consisted of Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota and NC State. Iowa was always toward the top, but Rucker did not have as close of a relationship with defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson as he did with his main recruiter, Eric Johnson.
“I didn’t commit earlier because I wasn’t as comfortable with the DB coach as Coach Johnson,” he said. “I got more familiar with Coach Wilson, then knew I was ready to commit.”
Rucker, No. 30 among safeties nationally, said the staff could play him at either safety or corner when he gets to Iowa City.
“They like the way I play and come down,” he said. “They know I’ll be aggressive enough to be a safety and a real aggressive corner. I’m not sure where I’ll be at when I come in.”
The Hawkeyes have nine commits in the 2013 class, eight of which are three-star prospects. Rucker joins Delano Hill as safeties in Iowa’s class. Hill is No. 24 among safeties.