UNC Football Class of 2017 Signee: K Noah Ruggles

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: Kohl’s Kicking ranks Ruggles as the nation’s No. 5 overall kicker • Ranked No. 25 in the country by Chris Sailer Kicking • Named Florida All-State Class 8A • Converted all 21 of PAT attempts and was 9-of-12 on field goals with a long of 57 yards as a senior • Also handled kickoffs and punts - 35 of his 42 kickoffs were touchbacks, while posting a 54.1-yard average • Ranked the No. 9 kicker in the nation by 247sports.com • Listed the No. 12 kicker nationally by ESPN.com • First-Team All-Tampa-Bay • First-Team All-Hillsborough County • First-Team Western Conference • Big County Preps Specialist of the Year • Hillsborough All Star Game Offensive MVP • First-Team Class 8A All-State • Member of the Jacksonville Times-Union Super 75 Team

LEAD UNC RECRUITER: Larry Porter

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RECRUITMENT: Following his performance at Vanderbilt’s camp last June, the Commodores offered Ruggles his first scholarship. Army followed suit during the season. After his decorated senior season came to a close, he began to hear from UNC. Sandwiched between January official visits to Vanderbilt and UNC, the Tar Heels offered. Before ending his UNC stay, Ruggles pledged to the Heels.

WHY CAROLINA: "I went up there and felt right at home. They have top-end facilities and the coaching staff is great. And I just feel like the future is bright for North Carolina. And that's a place I can really develop myself as a player and as a student. Everybody I talked to, I never heard anything bad about it. I just wanted to get up there and make sure it was where I wanted to be. And it was."

EVALUATION: Noah Ruggles is a strong-legged kicker who excels on both kickoffs and field goals. He really came on as a senior earning countless accolades, including first team All-State recognition in Florida’s highest classification. He already has showcased a college leg by sending 83-percent of his kickoffs into the end zone or beyond during his senior season. As a placekicker, the ball just jumps off his foot. He converted several from beyond 50 yards, including a 57-yarder. He’s not purely all strength, though; he connected on 80-percent of his field goals and all 21 of his PATs. 

HS COACH QUOTES: “We have about 150 events across the country all throughout the year. My job is to try and figure out who the best players are. The best way to do that with a kicker is to see the consistency of the athlete. The thing that Noah, at the high school level, was very impressive with was his consistency, camp after camp and pressure situation after pressure situation. He was able to do it with the consistency, height, distance and rotation to be a good kicker. He seems to handle pressure very well, he’s very calm, cool and collected like a lot of our older players in college and the NFL are. I just feel like Noah’s going to have a chance to be a guy that is successful in a college environment.  There’s a lot of guys that are talented enough to be successful, but they can’t call on it when the chips are on the table. Noah has that ability, that’s probably his greatest strength.” — Jamie Kohl, Kohl's Kicking

UNC HC LARRY FEDORA QUOTES: "We felt like we needed to go find (a kicker) since this was Nick (Weiler)’s last year. Of all the recruiting gurus we talked to, they said this was the guy we needed to go after. Not only does he have the leg strength to be able to do it ... but he also has the mental makeup to do it. He’s an athlete, not just a kicker, that has played multiple positions."

http://www.scout.com/player/214590-noah-ruggles

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