Jace Ruder is re-evaluating his prospects. The quarterback from Kansas has seen his recruitment stock rise plenty this spring after several powerhouse programs came knocking at his door the last few weeks.
"It's been very exciting, especially as a competitor having all these opportunities is great. It's a lot to take in with a lot of these big time programs knocking on my front door," said the three-star signal caller. "It's a whole another level but at the same it is the same deal. I'm still looking at the same things from a school. I am looking for competition, looking for somewhere that you can call home for the next four, five years of your life. I am looking for a great coaching staff that is going to take care of their players and an offense and a program that is going to help prepare for the next level."
A one-time Tulsa pledge, Ruder has now stepping back and looking closer at each program that has extended him an offer or has shown interest in him this spring. According to Ruder, the last few weeks has seen schools like Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, and Florida stop by Norton High School with Baylor also expected before the end of the week. Although the Tar Heels, the Seminoles and the Bulldogs are three programs that have only recently offered the playmaker, unlike the Hawkeyes who extended an offer months ago, Ruder is not looking at the dates of the offers, but at the schools themselves.
"I have a great deal of respect for those schools that had faith in me last year, but not necessarily that but they found me earlier," he explained. "I'm not 100 percent sure how it works, if schools overlooked me in the beginning in the process or if some schools just had not seen me before. So to be honest I am not 100 percent sure on how all that happens with how these coaches find me at this time of the year as supposed to last year."
The only thing he has focused on is on his game and how he can improve.
"I have continued to work on my craft and making sure I am throwing three times a week and making sure I am maximizing the efficiency in my throw," he said. "I am looking for great velocity in my ball, my spiral, a good touch on the ball on all my passes. Just all the factors that go in the throw itself and the offense."
Changes in his game that have obviously piqued the interest of several college coaches from ACC to the SEC.
"North Carolina was one of the first ones out here and what they like about me is how I can throw the ball very well. I am going to be a passer first. I am going to get the ball down the field, and I have a great ball velocity and great leadership, but at the same time I can use my legs as well," he said about the Tar Heels. "They talk about my athleticism at the quarterback position being able to travel if need be, but also having the arm to get the ball anywhere on the field.
"Georgia is a very respected program in the SEC, and they have had a great deal of success there," added 6-foot-2, 205-pounder. "The coaches, the same thing, they are very excited that I can throw the ball extremely well, as well as use my legs extremely well. They say that, that is one thing they are looking for in a guy is when they ask him to run the ball, they expect to get some yards out of it, or if need be and there is pressure, you can get out there and make something happen.
"Florida State, they feel the same way. They see a lot of potential with me," stated Ruder. "All these schools one thing they are excited about is the potential. They feel as if I am just scratching the surface. I am three-sport athlete I'm not solely focused on football yet, because I am also focused on basketball and track throughout the year, so they look at that as a positive thing because I haven't focused on football yet so I am just scratching the surface in my potential."
Although three three schools mentioned above have extended offers to the Norton, KS. native, the Gators continue to evaluate the 2018 quarterback. Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was at Ruder's school earlier this week to see Ruder throw.
"They said they were really excited about me, and they were going to contact me in the next few days," he said about UF. "They haven't offered yet but hopefully he was very impressed with what he saw and that he would get back to me."
An offer from the SEC East Champions would be welcomed by Ruder at this point.
"That obviously would be very exciting being an other SEC school and another big name program out there who has ha d a lot success in the past," stated Ruder. "They might not have had the best year last year or the year before that but they are definitely a power house program that plays at a high level of competition and has a lot of respect throughout the country."
With these new suitors in mind, Ruder hopes to hit the road this summer to help trim things down and help him move towards a decision,
"I plan on getting out there this summer and visit some of these schools. I will be narrowing it down eventually. I do plan to take a trip down the southern part of the country to visit North Carolina, Georgia, Florida State, and if Florida offers I'll make the trip to Gainesville as well," he explained. "I got to be able to see what the school itself is like, the education that is at the school and see the way the coaching staff treats their players - that is important to me as well as my mom. Those will play a key factor for me but the big thing is getting on the campus and feel how it is like and feel how it would be like if I were there."