NC State wanted to add depth to it's special teams unit and traveled all the way to California to land one of the west coast's top punters.
Jeff Ruiz, a 6-2, 185 pound punter from Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, Ca committed to NC State after his official visit to Raleigh this past weekend. As a true freshman, Ruiz set the Southwestern school record with a punting average of 43.3 yards per kick. On 63 kicks in 2006, Ruiz managed to nail 23 of them inside the opponent's 20 and in one game, had a 61 yard average on three kicks. His longest kick of the year was a booming 70 yarder against Victor Valley.
For his efforts Ruiz came away with all-conference honors, was the number one junior college kicker in California and was named a JC Gridwire All-American.
In addition to NC State, Ruiz had earned attention from San Diego State, Boise State and Florida State. However, a successful trip to Raleigh sealed the deal for the Pack.
"The trip was great," said Ruiz. "The players were great. The fans there are great. The coaches were great. It was just a very positive trip. Everything about it was positive so I committed.
"I love the staff there and coach O'Brien is a great guy. The coaching staff knows what they're doing and they know how to win. I can see us winning the ACC (with that staff)."
Ruiz was hosted by walk-on kicker Bradley Pierson. Newly hired recruiting coordinator Jerry Petercuskie headed up Ruiz's recruiting and played a huge role in luring the all-american kicker to Raleigh.
"Coach Petercuskie is just a great, great guy," he said. "He gets to the point and doesn't beat around the bush and I liked that."
Ruiz will have three years to play three and plans to enroll at NC State in July.