NCF On The Trail: Nicholas Ruffin

Best SEC recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

It's no secret that Southeastern Conference has been the top conference in the country as far as recruiting over the last several years. The league currently has six teams ranked in the top 11 of the team recruiting rankings. Here's a look at the top 10 recruiters around the ultra-competitive conference.

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SEC recruiting mailbag

August, 9, 2013
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It’s time to dip into the SEC recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today -- but we encourage you to ask again next week by tweeting your questions to @DerekTysonESPN.

@cpage2911: who are the top SEC assistant coaches recruiting wise?

Derek Tyson: As evident by having 10 SEC schools ranked in the top 25 of the Recruiting Nation class rankings, the SEC is full of recruiting savvy coaches. The list is long and full of quality coaches, and I could make a case for a number of SEC coaches, but here's a glance at three coaches who stand out to me this year.

Auburn co-offensive coordinator Dameyune Craig is responsible for Auburn landing commits from five ESPN 300 members including Tre' Williams, Nicholas Ruffin, Justin Thornton, Kamryn Pettway and Stanton Truitt. Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson is the primary recruiter for four committed ESPN 300 prospects -- Dalvin Cook, Khairi Clark, J.C. Jackson and Duke Dawson. He is also the primary recruiter for ESPN 300 prospects Ermon Lane and Quincy Wilson, who the Gators have a shot of landing on Monday.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart continues to be an outstanding recruiter and has helped the Tide stand firm in the top five of the class rankings. Smart is the primary recruiter for ESPN 300 committed players Kalvaraz Bessent, Stephen Roberts, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Zach Whitley.

@SleeperAthletes: Out of all the #SEC states, which state is most heavily recruited?

DT: As far as sheer numbers, Florida is always one of the most heavily recruited areas in the country. In fact, 17 percent (52) of the prospects ranked in the ESPN 300 are from the state of Florida. Texas is the next state in SEC territory with 34 players on the ESPN 300 followed by Georgia with 29 players.

Louisiana might not have the total number of prospects as Florida, Texas and Georgia, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in quality. Three of the top 10 players in the country including the No. 1 overall prospect, Leonard Fournette, and eight of the top 50 players in the country are from Louisiana.

SECfan: Will an SEC team take home the recruiting championship again?

DT: Five of the top 10 recruiting classes are from the SEC including three -- Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia in the top five. When it's all said and done, though, I believe it will be a battle between Alabama and LSU. Alabama is at No. 2 while LSU is at No. 10, and with several key targets still available LSU could certainly jump to the top.

Louisiana natives and top 10 players including Fournette, Cameron Robinson and Speedy Noil are high on the Tigers. Linebacker Clifton Garrett, wide receivers Trey Quinn and Malachi Dupre, safety Laurence Jones and defensive tackle Gerald Willis III are just some of the top prospects considering LSU and the Tigers could end up with a monster class. Alabama, however, is still very much in contention for both Fournette and Robinson which could quickly cement the Tide as the top overall class. Bottom line is, yes, I believe the SEC will land the No. 1 recruiting class for the third straight year.
AUBURN, Ala. -- "It’s a new day."

You see it on billboards as you drive to Auburn University. You see it on posters hung up all over campus. You see it around the football complex, reminding not just the fans and the community, but the players, too. It’s a new day for Auburn football.

Last season, the Tigers finished a woeful 3-9 and didn’t win a single conference game for the first time in over 20 years. There were off-the-field incidents and speculation that certain players gave up midway through the season. It came as no surprise when they let go head coach Gene Chizik and his entire coaching staff just two years removed from a national championship.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

May, 31, 2013
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ACC
Boston College
James Hendren | OT | Brookline, Mass./Dexter School
HT: 6-7 WT: 307
Position Rank: #56 OT
Stars: 3

Cameron Seward | ATH | Atlanta/Westminster School
HT: 6-0 WT: 189
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Clemson
Demarre Kitt | WR | Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek
HT: 6-0 WT: 196
Position Rank: #12 WR
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#99)

Korie Rogers | OLB | Buford, Ga./Buford
HT: 6-1 WT: 207
Position Rank: #11 OLB
Stars: 4

Chris Register | OLB | Greensboro, N.C./Dudley
HT: 6-3 WT: 230
Position Rank: #19 OLB
Stars: 4

Florida State
Jacob Pugh | OLB | Tallahassee, Fla./Godby
HT: 6-4 WT: 224
Position Rank: #5 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#104)

Georgia Tech
Jalen Johnson | ATH | Oneonta, Ala./Oneonta
HT: 6-2 WT: 195
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Virginia
Caanan Brown | OLB | Clearwater, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic
HT: 6-3 WT: 220
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

William Richardson | OG | Burlington, N.C./Hugh M. Cummings
HT: 6-5 WT: 339
Position Rank: #8 OG
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#126)

Virginia Tech
Eric Gallo | OG | Holland, Pa./Council Rock South
HT: 6-2 WT: 275
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wake Forest
Jaboree' Williams | OLB | Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Fort Lauderdale
HT: 6-1 WT: 210
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Baylor
James Jacobs III | OLB | Waco, Texas/Midway
HT: 6-4 WT: 201
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Blake Mahon | TE-Y | Coppell, Texas/Coppell
HT: 6-5 WT: 226
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kansas
Joe Dineen | ATH | Lawrence, Kan./Lawrence Free State
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Oklahoma State
Trey Roberts | ATH | Houston/Dwight D. Eisenhower
HT: 6-1 WT: 190
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Texas
Sione Teuhema | DE | Keller, Texas/Keller
HT: 6-3 WT: 211
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Maea Teuhema | OT | Keller, Texas/Keller
HT: 6-5 WT: 335
Class of 2015

Big East
Cincinnati
Joel Thompson | DT | Hollywood, Fla./McArthur
HT: 6-4 WT: 280
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

South Florida
Deatrick Nichols | CB | Miami/Miami Central
HT: 5-10 WT: 171
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Michigan
Jabrill Peppers | CB | Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic
HT: 6-1 WT: 205
Position Rank: No. 1 CB
Stars: 5
ESPN 150 (No. 2)

Northwestern
Fred Wyatt | DT | Lawrence, Kan./Lawrence Free State
HT: 6-4 WT: 260
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
Arizona
Jonathan Haden | RB | Washington/Friendship Collegiate Academy
HT: 5-8 WT: 185
Position Rank: No. 30 RB
Stars: 4

Arizona State
Manny Wilkins | QB-DT | Novato, Calif./San Marin
HT: 6-2 WT: 183
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

California
Isadore Outing | DE | Houston/Andy Dekaney
HT: 6-3 WT: 215
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Colorado
Isaac Miller | OT | Longmont, Colo./Silver Creek
HT: 6-7 WT: 255
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Grant Wantabe | OLB | San Antonio/William J. Brennan
HT: 5-10 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Zaire Andre | WR | Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood
HT: 5-11 WT: 169
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Keith Harrington | RB | Saint Petersburg, Fla./Northeast
HT: 5-8 WT: 169
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Alabama
O.J. Smith | DT | Bossier City, La./Airline
HT: 6-2 WT: 315
Postion Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Viane Talamaivao | OG | Corona, Calif./Centennial
HT: 6-2 WT: 316
Position Rank: No. 7 OG
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (No. 121)

Auburn
Jakell Mitchell | TE-H | Opelika, Ala./Opelika
HT: 6-3 WT: 213
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Nicholas Ruffin | ATH | Atlanta/Saint Pius X Catholic
HT: 6-1 WT: 185
Position Rank: #20 ATH
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#144)

Kentucky
Jarrett LaRubbio | OG | Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East
HT: 6-5 WT: 260
Position Rank: #28 OG
Stars: 3

Jared Tucker | CB | Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
HT: 6-0 WT: 161
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mississippi State
Lashard Durr | CB | Gulfport, Miss./Harrison Central
HT: 6-1 WT: 181
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Chris Rayford | CB | Byhalia, Miss./Byhalia
HT: 5-11 WT: 183
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

South Carolina
Malik Young | OG | Piedmont, S.C./Woodmont
HT: 6-3 WT: 286
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Tennessee
Joe Henderson | DE | Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights
HT: 6-3 WT: 205
Position Rank: No. 26 DE
Stars: 3
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The Tigers picked up two commitments Saturday, including one from ESPN 150 athlete Nicholas Ruffin (Atlanta/St. Pius X). ESPN's Tom Luginbill feels Ruffin is a fit and fills a key need area for Auburn.

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Some offers mean just a little bit more.

After Ohio State offered ESPN Watch List athlete Nicholas Ruffin (Atlanta/St. Pius X), he didn’t mince words about the significance of the attention.


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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Over the weekend, ESPN Watch List defensive back Nicholas Ruffin (Atlanta/St. Pius X) visited Alabama for the Tide’s junior day. He went home with out a scholarship offer.


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More than 150 of the top underclassmen prospects in the country were in attendance for registration to the Under Armour All-America Combine, several of which are from Georgia.

Massive OL looking to visit Wolverines

[+] EnlargeOrlando Brown Jr.
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comOrlando Brown Jr. is looking forward to visiting Michigan and other northern schools.
ESPN 2014 Watch List prospect Orlando Brown Jr. (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) should have no problem finding a place to play at the next level. At 6-foot-8, 370 pounds, the mammoth offensive lineman boasts offers from 36 programs, although he maintains eight of them are at the top.

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OSU visits Nick Glass, Nick Ruffin 

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
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Georgia got some love from Ohio State on Friday.

With ESPN Watch List quarterback DeShaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville), ESPN 150 inside linebacker and Auburn commit Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and ESPN Watch List outside linebacker Korie Rogers (Buford, Ga./Buford) already paid a visit, the Buckeyes were at it again.

This time, Ohio State checked in with Georgia commit and ESPN 150 safety Nick Glass (Atlanta/St. Pius X) and his teammate cornerback Nick Ruffin.

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Nicholas Ruffin is a fighter 

September, 19, 2012
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THOMSON, Ga. -- The Golden Lions of St. Pius X came up short against the Thomson Bulldogs 21-14 in the first ever meeting of the two Class AAA powers. The game featured three lead changes, four turnovers and one stellar effort from St. Pius X cornerback Nicholas Ruffin.

[+] EnlargeNicholas Ruffin
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.com2014 CB Nicholas Ruffin says Florida State and Vanderbilt are making the biggest recruiting impressions so far.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior was everywhere. He and the Golden Lions secondary held Thomson to just two completions through the air for 18 yards. On offense, Ruffin had seven carries for 40 yards and he hauled in two passes for 50 yards. He was on special teams and might as well have been running the concession stand, ticket booth and scoreboard. His potential at multiple positions has attracted top FBS schools.

“I have offers from Florida State, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Tennessee,” Ruffin said. “A lot of colleges are looking at me as a defensive back and some see me as a wide receiver. None so far at running back but hopefully they will come through. I will just keep working until that point.”

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