But this weekend’s visit to U-M was different for the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout, this time he was able to soak in a Michigan home game as an official visitor, as the Wolverines defeated Wisconsin on Saturday, 14-7.
“Probably one of the greatest weekends I’ve had in while,” Ruiz said. “I had a great time. Ron (Johnson) was my host. Me and him being as close as we are, I just had a great time with him, and just all around it was a great weekend.”
Where does this visit put the Wolverines in his recruitment?
“It’s definitely starting to open my eyes more, I got to witness a lot more things that I normally don’t get to witness,” Ruiz said. “Overall, I had a great time. I had real good time with the coaches.”
Adding: “I was talking to coach (Tim) Drevno a lot. I just left from his house, that’s where we spent the day. I also had an hour meet with coach (Jim) Harbaugh. I talked to all the coaches.”
Instead of Harbaugh recruiting Ruiz, the four-star lineman says he spent time asking U-M’s headman about how he runs his program, particularly practice.
“It was just me asking him questions,” Ruiz said of his talks with Harbaugh. “I asked him if I could see how they practice. That’s another important thing to me, I want to see how a team practices. So he took me through how his team practices, and a game week of practice, so I can see what it is like. We just talked about my visit and my overall feelings about Michigan.”
And what are Ruiz’s feelings about Michigan exactly?
“You’ll should know,” Ruiz joked. “I love being in Ann Arbor. It’s a great place to be. I have great vides there all the time. I always have a good time when I go there.”
It also helps that U-M loses three seniors to graduation on offensive line, leaving opportunity for a freshman to come in and comepete, says Ruiz.
“They graduate three starters, so that’s definitely a good opportunity for me to come in there and compete for that spot.”
Other notable offensive lineman recruits Jedrick Wills and Alex Leatherwood were also at U-M for official visits, and Ruiz says all three have talked about playing in college together.
“We talk about that all the time,” Ruiz said. “We was talking about that out at The Opening, it would be crazy. We’ve known each other for about a year and half through all the camps and stuff, it would be fun to play together in college.”
And Michigan coaches came up with a trendy slogan in their recruitment of all three linemen.
“They came up with thing called the ‘brick wall,’” Ruiz said. “It would be crazy if we were all on the same team.”
Still, though, Ruiz made it clear he has “no leaders” right now in his recruitment. Already, he has been on official visits to Michigan and North Carolina, and says he plans on taking two more officials to Florida and Oklahoma coming up.
“No more list, no more none of that,” he said. “We’ll find out on commitment day.”
He says he plans to announce his commitment on Dec. 18 or at the Under Armour All American Game on Jan. 1, 2017.