“I’ve always liked Auburn,” Ruiz said. “They were so low (on my list) because I had never gotten to see it or meet Coach (Gus) Malzahn. I saw it and (Auburn) is nice. I’ve never been to the country part of the south before. I’m from Florida and people say Florida really isn’t the south, you know. It’s actually nice. They definitely moved up.”
The Camden, N.J., native has an impressive offer list with the major players in his recruitment being Auburn as well as Alabama, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Penn State and Tennessee. Michigan is believed to be the early favorite for his signature as of now.
Ruiz said he is still not sure where he will take his official visits, but the No. 2 ranked center in the country understands where he sits on the Tigers’ priority list.
“I am the only center that they have offered (that is uncommitted),” the 6-4, 290 Ruiz pointed out. “They made that clear. They offered another center that committed already. Now they are coming at me really hard.”
Quick to make an impression on Ruiz were Malzahn and new offensive line coach Herb Hand, who is sure to have a key role in the recruitment of the center going forward.
“I like Coach Malzahn,” Ruiz noted. “He’s a really nice, really cool coach. He cares about his players a lot. He made that clear when he was talking to us and talking to me one-on-one. I talked to Coach Hand, too. Coach Hand, he was a great coach at Penn State. Now he is here at Auburn so it’s even better."