Rucker Takes in Spring Practice

One of the top players in the state, Robbinsdale Cooper (Minn.) Malik Rucker, has seen his recruitment explode recently. Despite the many offers, Rucker has spent a significant amount of time at the Gophers' spring practice sessions. Rucker recapped his visits to the Gibson-Nagurski Football Comlplex.

Rucker had a chance to check out the Gophers team a couple of times this past week and came away impressed with how the team looked in practice.

"I feel like there's a big difference between this year's team and last year's," he said. "The team just looks a lot better. Today (Tuesday) they scrimmaged the last two or three segments and the defense was just flying to the ball. That created a lot of turnovers. The DB's were playing good so it was a very impressive show. It was just really good all around."

Rucker hasn't had the chance to sit in on a team meeting yet but he has been able to get to know some of the coaches.

"On Saturday I got to meet with coach (Tracy) Claeys but I didn't get the chance to talk to any of them today," he said. "We talked about practices and how things are going for me and just about everything."

The thing that stood out most to Rucker on his two visits was the scrimmages.

"My favorite part of the practices was the full out team scrimmages," he said. "I spent most of the time just watching practice."

Rucker runs track in the spring which helps him with his speed but he's also focusing on improving on the little things in the off-season for football.

"I'm working on getting out of my breaks better," he said. "I'm also working on being more aware. I'm basically studying my position some more. I'm working on my fundamentals and improving on the little things."

Rucker has plenty of people he can turn to for advice about the recruiting process as his family has produced many Division-I football players.

"My brother Xavier played for Nebraska, my step brother just signed to play for North Dakota, my Dad played for Nebraska, my cousin Brandon Robinson played for Boston College, my cousin Alexander Robinson played at Iowa State, and I think my cousin Bryce McNeal is going to UCONN (Connecticut)."

While Rucker comes from a football family, the idea of playing at the same school as a relative isn't a big factor for him.

Besides the Gophers, Rucker plans on visiting some other Midwest teams this spring.

"I plan on visiting Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Michigan State," he said. "Those are the only three so far."

With lots of interested teams, he has compiled a very impressive offer list over the past couple of months.

"I have offers from Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Illinois, SMU, Northern Illinois, Duke, Wyoming, South Dakota State, and North Dakota."

Rucker doesn't have any favorites at this point and plans on making a decision whenever he feels comfortable.

Malik Rucker Profile


Gopher Illustrated Top Stories