DE Has A Lot To Like As Football Prospect

This Florida prep standout is drawing attention from college coaches as he prepares for his third year as a varsity starter at defensive end.

Miami, Fla.--Good size, good strength, good football instincts and good grades are part of the package college recruiters are checking out when they study rising senior Eddie Ruiz.

The defensive end is expected to start for a third consecutive season at Braddock High School. He was good last year and he is expected to be even better in 2002. He is 6-1, 245 pounds and runs very well. His best 40-time is 4.72.

"My junior year great things started happening for me," says Ruiz, who was in Auburn last weekend for a one-day football camp with his teammate Tranell Morant. "Having my friend Tranell playing at the other end took a lot of the pressure off of me last season. I play the strongside and he plays the weakside. We make things happen out there on the field."

Their coach, Frank Rojas, agrees and says, "In my 13 years at Braddock High School, they are the best pair of defensive ends that I have coached and I have been at the school since it opened up. I have the opportunity to coach five Dade-Broward all-star games as a defensive coordinator and defensive back coach. They are definitely in the top caliber of every other guy I have seen who has gone on to play big-time ball."

Eddie Ruiz is expected to be one of the top players in talent-rich Dade County this season.

Ruiz predicts that Rojas will have an exciting squad to coach. "We will have a good team this year," the defensive end says. "Last year we were 6-4 and just missed the playoffs. This year we plan to make them. We play in Miami so there is a lot of competition. It is a tough environment to play football. You really have to bust it out there on the field if you want to be a success."

To help improve his skills as a player, Ruiz attended football camps at Auburn and Florida this summer and for a third straight year attended the Down And Dirty Camp for linemen. "I think I am a pretty good pass rusher, but I am going to continue to work to get quicker," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. As a junior, Ruiz had 26 tackles for losses, including 12 sacks. He says attending camps at college campuses gave him a look at what those schools are like and it also helps him prepare for his senior season and college football. "It is good to see what is out there and know what you are going to be up against," he says. "I think coming to the football camps is a great experience."

His coach says that Rojas will be recruited as an interior defensive linemen. Braddock runs a multiple defensive system based out of a 4-4. "We have a couple of schemes where we put Ruiz inside at the nose," Rojas says. "He is going to be a three technique guy (tackle)."

Rojas says he is looking forward to lining up Ruiz and Morant as the starting defensive ends this year. They are expected to be double trouble for opponents. "The way they have reunited as friends is really good so they have that bond out there on the field," their coach says. "They are both academic qualifiers. There is no pressure about test scores. They are ready to go in that area. They can just go out there and play their senior years."

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