Panthers lead for Florida TE

The state of Florida is widely known as a hotbed of football talent. University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt and staff have put a heavy recruiting focus on the state. It appears the Panthers are off to an early lead with a talented tight end.

"I have two offers right now. One from Florida Atlantic and one from Florida International," stated tight end Fabian Ruiz (6-foot-4 inches, 240 pounds) from Sunset Senior High School in Miami, FL. "If I had to rank schools right now, I would put Pittsburgh at the top of the list. They are my favorite school. South Carolina, Boston College, Houston and Southern Mississippi are the others schools I'm interested in."

Ruiz is capable of bench pressing 320 pounds, squatting 455 pounds and running a 4.66 forty-yard dash. He is primarily being recruited by Panthers' wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill.

"I really like Pittsburgh. Coach Hill is a great guy and I enjoy talking with him. I contact him about once a week. I like the fact the Panthers play freshmen. I'm not saying I expect to go up there and play from day one. It's nice to know that I will be given a chance to prove myself."

Ruiz is considered one of the top tight end prospects in South Florida. He caught 14 passes for over 200 yards and scored 2 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Sunset Senior High School primarily has a run-oriented offense.

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I have the ability to stretch the field and catch the ball downfield. Most of my receptions were over 10 yards. I'm working on my blocking every day. I know that's important. My blocking is improving."

"I want to go to a school with good academics and a solid athletic tradition. Nobody can tell if they are heading to the NFL. It's important to me to receive a good education and a degree that I can use later in life. Pittsburgh seems to have a solid tradition and academics."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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