Junior LB Darvin Ruise 6’1” 240 began the spring as the starting weak-side linebacker. During the spring, he moved down on the Depth Chart, before regaining the starting spot, and he finished the spring working with the first string defense.
Throughout the spring, sophomore LB Kentrell Brothers challenged Ruise for the starting spot in a competition that was as close as virtually any on the team. In the Spring Game, both players saw considerable action with the number one defense.
Ruise spoke with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he gave us an inside look at playing linebacker and his perspective on the internal competition.
“The best players are going to play,” said Ruise, talking about his place on the Depth Chart. “At the time, they felt like guys were playing a little bit better than me. So, it was my duty to step it up, which I felt like I did. Now, I have to continue, and just get better every day. I just have to improve every day.”
“Kentrell (Brothers) is a good player,” said Ruise. “He’s a helluva player! The competition makes us better. He’s a good guy, a good player. He knows his stuff. That just motivates me to compete every day.”
Ruise talked about what he has to do to get better.
“Me, right now, it’s just consistency, the consistency of being that playmaker every day, bringing that every day,” explained Ruise. “I feel like once I’ve earned the trust of the coaches that they see that I bring that every day, because I feel like they see that I can do good things, and it’s evident on film that I can do good things. But, I have to put that together every day, and make it an everyday thing.”
I asked Ruise how he becomes more consistent?
“The key to being consistent is mastering your fundamentals,” replied Ruise. “Mastering your fundamentals is not having to think, but being able to react out there. So, I feel like that’s the key to mastering your position, to being sound, is mastering your fundamentals.”
Ruise reported a personal best this spring of 4.59 seconds in the forty-yard dash, a 36” standing vertical jump, and a personal best of 26 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press.
“I definitely can improve on (those numbers),” said Ruise. “I don’t think I’m even close to what I can do physically. I don’t even think I’m close. I’ve got to have a heckuva summer, a heckuva summer in the weight room, and in working on my fundamentals. I feel like once I master those things, there’s no telling how good I can be. But again, I have to put in the work…………………………………………. It’s my time.”
I asked Ruise for his analysis of the Missouri defense?
“We have a very, very versatile defense,” explained Ruise. “When I say that, I feel like we’ve got a lot of guys that can play a lot of different positions. That makes us a very, very good defense, because we can switch guys in and out at different positions, and a lot of guys know a lot of different things. I feel like in the big scheme of things, we have a very athletic defense that can run. From my perspective, I feel like we can be real good. We just have to put in the work.”