PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Donning a scarlet snapback hat with a white Block R emblazoned on the front, Jeremy Ruckert stood out among the hundreds of high school prospects scattered across the F3 practice field.
Of course, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame of the 2018 tight end from Lindenhurst (N.Y.) Senior High School naturally catches the eye.
Back on the campus of the first program to offer him a scholarship, Ruckert felt right at home during Saturday’s East Coast Elite Football Camp at Rutgers.
“It’s just surreal, you know?” he said. “My first offer was a couple months back and it just blew up since then. Rutgers was there in the beginning. It’s the first school I visited. I’ve been here like four, five times now. It’s the closest one to home, so it’s something I think about.”
While the laundry list of smaller schools at the local satellite camp interacted with Ruckert over the course of the morning and afternoon, Rutgers coach Chris Ash and his staff were active with the New York tight end target from registration to the midfield breakdown at the end of the day.
Ruckert spoke on his interactions with the like of Ash, offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer and special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Vince Okruch, revealing the common theme that has been discussed about what they see in his future if he one day chooses the Scarlet Knights.
“They just call me every week, say what’s up and they really tell me how much I can fit in here,” Ruckert said. “They say coach Mehringer really likes how I can go get it, stick my nose down. They really just want me to get here.”
One of a select few campers to receive one-on-one work with the Rutgers position coaches, Ruckert got a taste of what life on the Banks could be like under the tutelage of the new staff.
“It was really cool because I’ve been really talking to coach Okruch for about a couple months now and I never really got to work with him yet,” Ruckert said. “And this was the first day I got to work with him and he really knows what he’s doing, and it’s just real cool working with him.”
For the next month, Ruckert’s planner is just about booked.
He has regional visits scheduled up at Syracuse on June 11 and out to Pitt on June 12. Then, he said, he will attend a one-session camp at Boston College the following weekend.
Following a brief break, he will fly down to Alabama for a visit in July. Ruckert received an offer from the Crimson Tide roughly two weeks ago on May 23.
But first, he checks back in with Ash, Mehringer and Okruch with a short turnaround on Wednesday at the Tri-State Showcase on Fairleigh Dickinson’s Madison, N.J. campus.
With that, he spurns the Next Level Football Camp hosted by Jim Harbaugh at Paramus Catholic in favor of another look from Rutgers as well as Ohio State.
“I just wanted to,” Ruckert said of his decision to attend the Tri-State Showcase. “I haven’t really been in touch with Michigan a lot. They haven’t been really on me. But I talked to coach Meyer last week — he really wanted me to get down there. I haven’t really met him yet. He hasn’t been down here. I met coach (Ed) Warriner, but I really wanna see (Meyer), see what’s up and see what he has to do.”