Rucker Tours Iowa, ISU

Malik Rucker received scholarship offers from Iowa and Iowa State last month when he visited the schools. The '13 DB from Minnesota took a second look at the rivals this weekend. He talks about each stop and where he is in the recruiting process in this update.

Malik Rucker is enjoying a busy spring. It seems like each week brings more opportunities his way.

The 2013 defensive back from Minnesota added an Arizona State scholarship offer several days ago. It raised Rucker's total to 14.

Rucker re-visited the two schools - Iowa State and Iowa - that were the first BCS institutions to come forward with scholarship offers. The rivals offered him those chances on trips he took in early March.

The Robbinsville Cooper High (New Hope, MN) product stopped in Ames on Friday to get a second look at the Cyclones. He watched a spring practice.

"It was very up-tempo," Rucker said. "Everybody was getting after it. It was supposed to be a slow day because they had a scrimmage coming up the next day, but it didn't seem like that. They were going at it."

Rucker (6-0, 175) focused on the ISU defensive backs coached by Troy Douglas.

"The DBs got in a lot of good work and Coach Douglas is a good coach," Rucker said. "I like Coach (Paul) Rhoads. He helps out coaching instead of just sitting back as a head coach. He was helping out with the DBs, the receivers; he was helping out with everybody."

Douglas showed Rucker where he would fit into the Cyclone secondary. They also went over the ISU depth chart for '13.

Rucker felt welcomed in Ames.

"Coach Rhoads was really happy that I made it down to Iowa State," he said. "It shows him that I have a lot of interest in Iowa State. I feel like I fit into their defense as a corner and a nickel. They run a lot of nickel, so I think I would fit in there perfect. I think I would be able to get on the field quicker."

After wrapping things up at Iowa State, Rucker drove a few hours east to Iowa City for a Saturday visit. It was his second stop on the campus.

"Iowa was fun, too," he said. "I got to see practice and see how Coach (Darrell) Wilson coached (the secondary). After practice, I had a meeting with Coach Wilson and Coach (Eric) Johnson. Before practice, I had a meeting with Coach (Kirk) Ferentz. It was good that I got to talk with Coach Ferentz to see how he feels about me."

Ferentz took a relaxed approach with the prospect while still letting him know that he was wanted by the Hawkeyes, Rucker said.

"He really likes me," Rucker said. "He said I could commit today or next month or the month after that. It really doesn't matter. He just wants me to come to Iowa. But he said that if Iowa isn't the place for me, then don't come to Iowa. There was no pressure."

After meeting with the coaches, Wilson put Rucker in a room with Hawkeye defensive backs Jordan Lomax, Micah Hyde and B.J. Lowery.

"He had me ask them questions about Iowa," Rucker said. "I asked if they thought they were getting better with Coach Wilson, how do they like Coach Wilson and why they picked Iowa. We had a good conversation."

Iowa told Rucker that it sees him as a cornerback when he arrives to college but that he could grow into a safety.

With opportunities continuing to roll in, Rucker is in no hurry to end the recruiting process.

"I'm not really sure where I am in it because I feel like I'm still picking up interest and offers still," he said. "I'm just seeing where that goes."

Rucker said he likely will visit Kansas or Northern Illinois next week. The following weekend could find him at Minnesota again.

"Everybody is pretty equal right now," Rucker said when asked if any schools stand out to him. "It's going to come down to the coaches. I think I'll end up going somewhere where I feel the most comfortable with the DB coach and the head coach."


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