Ruffin Ready for Football at Next Level

USC linebacker commit Jabari Ruffin is ready to play football at the next level. And after his in-home visit, he's especially ready to be a Trojan.

For a USC program often thought of as glitzy, glamourous and an NFL feeder, Jabari Ruffin also sees an honesty in his future school.

The Downey (Calif.) Downey High commit is looking forward to working with Trojan linebackers coach Joe Barry because, well, he seems like a normal guy.

"They're cool guys, they know what they're doing, especially Coach Barry because he's going to be the coach I deal with the most. I feel a lot of sincerity about him."

After Ruffin's in-home visit with Barry last week, he had a better idea of how he will fit into the football program and the university in general.

"I asked him questions about how it is at USC and he answered them first hand because he obviously went there," Ruffin said.

Another thing Barry was honest about: playing time.

Ruffin is not expecting to be a starter or an impact player. He's only hoping to be.

"The best player will play. Whosever performing is the one right for the job, he'll be on the field," Barry told Ruffin about the competition.

"I'm excited about [the competition], ready to go, showcase my talent. I really want to start training hard, the hardest I've ever worked in my life," he said.

The two, plus Ruffin's family, chatted for two hours, answering any and all questions, including what weight the 6-3, 227-pounder should play at.

"I don't really worry about size when i get there. He just said keep my speed up."

Barry told both Ruffin and USC linebacker recruit Scott Starr not to let weight interfere with speed. But both Ruffin and Starr are about 20 pounds heavier than the Trojans' starting outside linebackers.

"He told me and Scott [Starr] that usually smaller linebackers [Barry] can't really send them off the edge like he wants too, and bigger linebackers aren't good in covering space and dropping back."

Barry told Ruffin and Starr he hopes both can be that versatile linebacker that can both drop back in the flat and play off the edge.

Both recruits have also talked to a third linebacker being pursued by the Trojans: Stanford commit Noor Davis.

Davis, a Florida native who attended the USC/UCLA game two weeks ago, told Scout he is "firm on Stanford." But Ruffin isn't so sure how firm that commitment is.

"On certain websites he's ranked number one in the nation," Ruffin said. "I thought it was kind of interesting he committed to Stanford and he's taking visits. With me I'm committed to USC but I'm not taking visits."

And oh is Ruffin committed. The California native-- whose high school is just 16 miles from the Coliseum-- attended every USC home game in the 2011 season and absolutely loved them.

"The fans make me feel welcome. Stanford by far was [my favorite game], it was real loud, the competition was off the chain."

In addition to his excitement with the football team, he is looking forward to the university itself.

"That's the other thing I'm really excited about, to be a student there. It's a wonderful school, you get a lot of respect from people if you're able to graduate from there," Ruffin said.

He and his family have had talks about potentially becoming a business major at USC, but said his mind could change.

Regardless of his major, Ruffin is certain of his football career and playing at the next level.

"I cant wait to get on the field and do what I do best. Just ball out."

Ruffin won't have to wait long. He plans to enroll in the university a day after his high school graduation, in the middle of June.


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