Burnsville FB James Ruffin Makes College Choice

James Ruffin, a 6-3, 233-pound fullback/linebacker of Burnsville (MN) High, will commit to Northern Iowa, according to his father James. Ruffin is considered one of the top prospects in the state and attended Northwestern's "Junior Day" and the Gophers' basketball game versus Illinois.

James Ruffin scored 17 points to lead the Blaze to a 70-68 overtime win over Minnetonka Saturday afternoon. His father told me during halftime that James was going to commit to Northern Iowa.

Ruffin visited Northern Iowa Dec. 3 and Ball State Nov. 26. Both schools had offered him a scholarship. Iowa State wanted him to walk-on and Minnesota assistant Vic Adamle had been in contact and had called the Ruffin household Friday night.

Ruffin rushed 85 times for 324 yards and seven touchdowns. His top game of the season was in a 27-26 win over Eagan, as he rushed 18 times for 75 yards and scored four touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Burnsville finished just 2-7, which did not help Ruffin's recruitment.

Ruffin is a co-captain for the Blaze basketball team. Last year, he served as a reserve as they finished runner-up in Class AAAA, losing to Lake Conference rival Chaska 71-57 in the title game and finished the season 27-5. Ruffin is averaging 11.0 points per game for the Blaze, who are 3-3. However, Ruffin missed the first two games as he was visiting Ball State, both losses. They have lost just once since his return, falling to Hopkins 81-74 in overtime.

Northern Iowa is recruiting Ruffin as an H-Back. The Panthers finished 7-4 last season, winning their final six contests. They were ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll and play in the Gateway Conference, perhaps the top Divsion I-AA league in the country.

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