Two weeks ago, Ohio State issued yet another scholarship to a standout prospect from Georgia. Defensive back Nicholas "Nick" Ruffin, out of St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, Georgia, was issued a scholarship from coach Everett Withers on April 11th. Upon receiving the offer, Ruffin told me this:
"It definitely means a lot to me that he [Urban Meyer], as a coach, has taken notice of me. It's kind of a confirmation that everything I do does not go in vain. Also, I watched him build a program to such a prestigious level to the point where the name 'Florida' was feared. The offer sits well with me, and I'm not sure where it will land. But, I'm positive that it will be in my top schools."
According to 247Sports' Composite Rankings, the 6-0, 180-pound versatile defender grades out as a 93 overall, the 183rd best player in the nation, the 16th best cornerback in the nation, and the 18th best player in the talent-rich state of Georgia. Similarly, Scout ranks Ruffin as a 4-star and the 13th best cornerback prospect in the 2014 class. Ruffin caught me up with his recruitment, his current top schools, his plans for a commitment decision, and more here:
How'd your junior season at St. Pius X go?
I'd say it was a success. We made it to the state championship, but didn't end up winning. No one else thought we could make it to the championship, but we did. I really couldn't ask for much more from the season, other than getting the ring.
What about your season from a personal standpoint?
It went well. I battled a couple hardships and was out for 2-3 weeks with a sprained foot, but I battled back. I finished the season very strong.
You're listed as a cornerback and a safety on most recruiting websites, but what's your favorite position to play on the field and why?
I'd say cornerback. I consider cornerback a glorified wide receiver position. I get to run routes every play and pick off anything that is thrown my way. I also get to hit people as soon as they catch the ball, another reason why I love the position.
What is your biggest strength?
My reaction time and my instincts.
What part of your game do you need to work on the most?
My general, overall speed. I'd like to get a little faster because there were a couple times during the past season where I could have scored another touchdown if I had a little more speed.
Let's get into your recruitment now. What are the main schools recruiting you currently?
Auburn, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Alabama are the schools recruiting me the hardest.
What are your top schools right now?
Auburn, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Why is Ohio State not included in your top schools as of now?
The reason I can't include Ohio State in my top schools is because I haven't visited there yet.
Of all the schools recruiting you, what coaching staffs stand out or you have the best relationships with?
Alabama, Auburn, and Vanderbilt.
What are you looking for in a school?
A sense of family and academics. Academics are very important to me. The coaching staff is probably the least important aspect on my list, because we all know coaches can be at one school and then leave for another the next day. I also want to see if my family can be in contact with me and see me play regularly. Overall, I just want to see myself at a school.
Have you talked about going to the same school as other Georgia recruits in the 2014 class?
Yeah, I've talked to Raekwon [McMillan] and some other guys about that.
What do you like about Ohio State?
The reputation of the school speaks for itself. It is THE Ohio State University. The tradition, the coaching staff, the undefeated season in their first year are all impressive. They've proven to the college football world that they are a force to be reckoned with. Year in and year out, they compete for the national title.
Who is the main coach from Ohio State recruiting you? How often do you speak, and what do you guys talk about?
Coach [Everett] Withers. We speak about once a week. Coach Withers emphasizes that Ohio State is a team on the rise, they're young, they're well-coached, that you can't beat tradition, and tells me he wants me to hop on the "C-Bus train."
When do you plan on visiting Ohio State?
I won't visit anytime earlier than the summer. I am for sure planning on visiting sometime this summer. I don't know the exact date yet.
What have been your best college visits so far?
Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia have probably been my best visits.
I know it's early, but do you have any idea of when you want to announce your decision?
I'd like to announce at the start of my senior year. If not, I want to take most if not all of my official visits and announce my college decision a week after my 5th official visit.
Do you plan on participating in any more of Ohio State's camps this summer?
No, I'll just be visiting the campus itself.
Will Ohio State be one of your official visits next fall?
I'll have to determine that after I visit the campus this summer.
Watch what Nick would bring to the Buckeyes here and below: