Over the course of a few weeks quarterback Jace Ruder has gone from an under the radar prospect to one of the most heavily recruited signal-callers in the 2018 class. Peegs.com spoke with the 6-foot-3, 205-pound standout from Norton (KS) Norton H.S. about where things stand with his recruiting at this time.
Ruder initially committed to Tulsa but he has since backed off that pledge and opened his recruiting back up.
“The main reason for the decommitment was the fact that I had some major doors open,” he said. “I had some opportunities open up for me to play at the highest level of competition in college football. As a competitor that’s what you love to do, you love to compete against the best of the best. The opportunities that I have were just opportunities that I couldn’t pass up.”
The athletic quarterback said the last few weeks have been pretty crazy for him with all the new suitors, but it has also been an exciting time for him.
“It’s been a whirlwind and it’s been very busy,” Ruder said about his recruitment over the last few weeks. “You are on the phone a lot with coaches and family and friends and reporters so it has been pretty hectic, but at the same time it has been really exciting to have these opportunities.”
Indiana is one of the schools that has presented Ruder with the opportunity to play power five football, and he said at this time they are still an option for him.
“Indiana is still involved in my recruitment,” he said about the Hoosiers. “They have a great coaching staff with Coach (Tom) Allen, Coach (Mike) DeBord and Coach (Nick) Sheridan, and they are doing great things up there. They are definitely still in the mix.”
The three-star recruit said that he has been able to develop a strong bond with the Indiana coaching staff, and especially with head coach Tom Allen and quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan.
“Coach Allen and I have great conversations,” Ruder said. “We will take for an hour or so at a time and it’s not necessarily about football. We’ll sometimes just talk about life in general and how each of us doing and how our families are doing. So we have a relationship that isn’t just based on football, it’s more of a friend relationship. And it’s the same with Coach Sheridan. I talk to him quite a bit as well and we have a great relationship. They realize that life isn’t just solely about football, and they want to know what’s going on with my life just as much as they want to know what’s going on with my sports career.”
The message that the IU coaches have expressed to Ruder is that he is a priority for them at the quarterback position.
“I would say the biggest takeaway from their recruiting pitch is they want me really bad,” Ruder said. “They think I have the potential to be a great player at that level, and they believe I would fit great in what they want to do offensively.”
The Kansas native currently has offers from Indiana, Iowa, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Tulsa, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse, Bowling Green, Colorado State, Ohio, Toledo, Wyoming and Emporia State. His plan is to visit his top schools this summer so that he can have a decision made before the start of his senior season.
“This summer I plan on getting out to schools that I’m interested in,” Ruder said about his recruiting. “I am still in the process of creating my list of top schools, but the plan is to get out this summer and visit and get a feel for what it’s like at each school. I want to have a decision made possibly by the end of the summer. At the quarterback position the recruiting is sped up a tad just because they don’t take as many in each class.”
In 11 games last fall Ruder threw for around 1,600 yards with 14 touchdowns, and he rushed for around 750 yards and 16 scores.