Alabama has been busy on the recruiting trail during the spring evaluation period with plenty of verbal scholarship offers and it included New Jersey center Cesar Ruiz, whose stock has been on the rise of late.
closed out April with a standout performance at the New York/New Jersey The Opening Regional camp event and it resulted in few new verbal scholarship offers.
In the week following the event, even more extensions have come through, including learning of one from the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday.
“I was on the football field during track practice, just resting my ankle,” he said. “Coach (Mario) Cristobal came by the other day, but I couldn’t speak to him because of NCAA rules. My coach said he really liked me and said we should expect an offer real soon.
“Then it came out, and it was confirmed a few days later. I was like, whoa, it feels great. Alabama is a top, prestigious school. It’s not one you just get a scholarship from, you have to be an elite player to get that offer. It shows that I’m an elite prospect and someone that has the potential to play at the next level.”
Ruiz, who preps at Camden (N.J.) High School just outside of Philadelphia, met the Crimson Tide’s New Jersey-area recruiter and offensive line coach very early in his high school career.
“I talked to him my freshman year, I think. I just ran into him and he introduced himself, that was about it, but I know a lot about him,” he said. “I think they want me at center. I finish every block, I’m nasty on the field and I’m just really really aggressive.
“It feels great to have that offer, but my level of interest in all schools is even right now.”
Very early in his recruiting timeline, and not looking to make a decision until late in his senior season, the next phase of the process is taking visits to many of the offering schools like North Carolina, South Carolina and even to Tuscaloosa.
“I’ve never been anywhere down south besides Florida, but it’s definitely something I want to do,” he said. “I need to get down to see some of those schools. At Alabama, I’d want to see what the atmosphere is like. I want to watch a practice and a game to see how the players and coaches relationship is like.
"I want to see what they do with their offensive lineman. Do they pull centers? Do they pass a lot? I’d want to see those kinds of things.”
Ruiz remains on a calculated path in his decision-making for many reasons, with clear factors already in mind when selecting a college.
“A lot of people commit early and I have more than enough time to make sure I make the right choice,” he said. “The school is going to have to feel like home, a place I feel comfortable and one I have a chance to be there for four years.”