Ruffin Capitalizes on Redshirt Year

The newest Trojan defensive end is using his time as a redshirt to not only adjust to college football, but to a new position as well.

Freshman Jabari Ruffin is using his redshirt year to not only adjust to college football, but also to learn a new position. Recruited as a linebacker, Ruffin is now moving to the defensive line, learning how to play defensive end.

The move is giving the first-year player more to work on and improve. He was able to get in extra reps with the younger players over the bye week, allowing him to become more acclimated to his new spot.

"We're definitely getting more reps and (Coach Ed Orgeron) is getting me into the mix a little bit more," Ruffin said. "I'm getting the hang of the position."

Only seventeen when he arrived at USC, Ruffin continues to work to improve his technique and body strength.

"My body development is still maturing. And as far as learning the defense and getting the feel of college football, this year is just helping me," he said. "It's a big benefit for me."

Redshirt sophomore Hayes Pullard served as a mentor to Ruffin at linebacker during fall camp, but now the freshman is turning to junior Morgan Breslin as he transitions to defensive end.

"It's a blessing to be able to come out here and compete with the best," Ruffin said. "Not even just (Robert Woods) and (Matt Barkley) and (Marqise Lee), but even guys in my class are ballin'."

Ruffin has made improvement his goal for his redshirt year.

"My goal for the season is just mastering the new position and just get bigger and faster," he said, "just bigger and faster and the best I can be."

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