By the time he leaves the Scotland School (Scotland, Pa.) this spring, Ruffin will have earned 12 athletic letters – four each in football, basketball and track. He has been a standout performer in each sport, but his versatility on the football field is what is carrying him to the college game.
Ruffin was introduced as an athlete on national signing day, and no designation could be more appropriate. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound prospect could play linebacker, defensive end, safety, tight end or wide receiver as a Badger. He was primarily a defensive end and wide receiver in high school, but he also spent time at linebacker, safety, quarterback and tight end.
Ruffin, who boasts a 4.5 40-yard dash and a 300-pound bench press, was exceptionally productive in his four-year career, with 409 tackles, 88 sacks and 75 receptions for 1,856 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Recently, Ruffin received some negative publicity when he was initially suspended indefinitely for his alleged participation in acts of vandalism at the Scotland School.
Ruffin was reinstated Friday, about two weeks after the vandalism occurred.
"It was a while because it was investigated," Ruffin said. "But after the investigation they found out that I had nothing to do with it."
"I missed quite a bit [of schoolwork] but I caught up pretty fast," Ruffin said.
A member of the National Honor Society, Ruffin has a 3.4 grade-point average and a 950 SAT. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Badger Nation: How did you become interested in mechanical engineering?
Jarmal Ruffin: "I always was interested in designing things. I was leaning towards architecture but in the past year I started to have a feel for designing cars and machines so I kind of started calling mechanical engineering."
BN: What are you most proud of from your prep career?
JR: "I guess actually being able to finish. I had a lot of accomplishments in my life. I'm just at the highest point right now receiving this scholarship."
BN: What was your favorite memory from your official visit (Dec. 10) to Wisconsin?
JR: "I guess it was the day I committed. Sunday… I went to coach Alvarez' house. We had a brunch and a couple other players came and we just talked about the whole visit and everything, just sat down and it just kind of like, it just like formed into kind of like a family meeting, like a family reunion. It just felt real great. When I actually said I committed, I want to commit to Wisconsin, because it felt so good, so I had the chance to tell that to Coach Alvarez."
BN: Why was Bo Jackson your favorite athlete?
JR: "I never seen anybody play two sports before and was actually good at both. A lot of people tried it but it didn't work out for everyone."
BN: Did you ever consider playing basketball in college?
JR: "I thought of it. But I think it would be better if I just stick to one."
BN: Do have any preference as far as what position you play at Wisconsin?
JR: "I would have to say receiver or offense or maybe outside linebacker, or defensive end."
BN: Do you anticipate redshirting your first year at UW?
JR: "I think that all falls into what position I go to. I may be redshirting from looks of it. But there is a possibility I might actually get in."
BN: What are your goals for your Badger career both for this year and in seasons to come?
JR: "Just to get better every year. My first year I hope to learn a lot from all the players from when I was meeting them on my official. I just hope to learn as much as I can from them and every year just continue to grow and get better and learn the game more."
BN: When do you expect to arrive on campus?
JR: "I'm going some time in the summer, like June the 20th or something like that."
BN: Where do you think you will be in 10 years?
JR: "If I don't get selected in the draft, I'll be working in a small, probably have almost my own business started, my own car design business started."