Just before his older brother would make a commitment and sign a letter of intent, Kevontae Ruggs hit a milestone in his recruitment as well. The 2018 prospect netted his first scholarship offer and hasn't looked back since that January day.
"It was at Alabama," he said. "I was shocked. All the coaches were on campus, they said coach (Nick) Saban is falling in love with you...they said he wanted to have a private sit down before we left. I went in there, it was just me and him by ourselves and he was telling me how great of a player I am.
"That's when he revealed I had the offer. I couldn't do nothing but smile. "
Not much longer, Scout100 wide receiver Henry Ruggs would ink with the Crimson Tide and Kevontae would hit his stride with the process. As the spring evaluation period continues, the versatile three-star prospect now sits at over a dozen extensions including Ole Miss, West Virginia, Maryland, Wake Forest and several others.
"It's a dream come true, I never thought I would be in this position like this," Ruggs said. "My brother just paved the way for me and I have to follow, but not follow his footsteps because I'm my own person. I've got to do what I do to be great."
Though brothers, each Ruggs talent is quite different. Henry was a no-doubt, get the ball in his hands wide receiver projection with explosive ability. The younger Ruggs is four inches taller, heavier and has played linebacker and safety through his time on Montgomery (Ala.) Robert E. Lee's varsity roster.
In preparation for 2017, though, wide receiver will appear on his resume (video above).
"My game and his game are different," he said. "He's more of a flashy player, I'm quicker than him but he's faster than me. I'm more physical, too, because you can't come and jam me, stuff like that. Spring is going great, I'm actually playing both sides of the ball.
"They have me working at receiver more right now. It's going good...I still got it."
Working on offense has helped the rising senior's development on the defensive side of the ball, which is where all of the programs after him envision him playing at the next level.
"Just showing me some of the releases and the moves they have so when they try to do it on me, I kind of know the idea," Ruggs said, before admitting he leans towards defense like the colleges do. "I'm fast, physical, smart and I just have a love and passion for hitting. I just take that to the heart."
More programs passing through Lee will get a refreshed look, though the spring and summer will be big periods for the visits to be reciprocated considering Ruggs has only visited Alabama, Auburn and Florida State early on.
The 2014 national championship game participants have yet to offer one of Alabama's most versatile prospects.
"FSU, I've been talking to them since last year," he said. "They like the player I am and they love the way I play. They are going to look into it more and see the way I play this spring.
"I haven't been hearing from Auburn that much, but they said they are going to start looking at me, too."
Don't expect an early pledge from Kevontae Ruggs, following the timeline Henry Ruggs established in 2017.
"I'm actually going to just sit back and take my time, see how it plays out. I'm not going to rush it because it's a big decision," he said. "(Watching Henry) Helped me realize that sometimes you have to weigh your options because sometimes you can be stuck in the limelight, thinking everything is good from one school.
"But then you find out it's not that you thought it was and you find out the other school is better."