Nicholas Ruffin has double-digit scholarship offers and while the 2014 Georgia cornerback is still hungry for more, he’s grateful for the ones he already owns.
“It’s more of a humbling experience more than anything just to know that you have those options and that God saw fit to give you those options,” Ruffin said during the Under Armour All-America Underclassmen Combine earlier this month at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“I take every offer as a stepping stone onto my next goal, which is to play collegiate football.”
The 6-foot, 170-pounder from St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta currently holds offers from programs like Vanderbilt, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Mississippi State among others.
Ruffin arrived in Florida feeling like he had to prove that players from private schools were no pushovers.
“Oh yeah, we got a lot of that,” he said. “We get a lot of criticism.
“I just wanted to see where I stood with the nation’s elite and get the chance to work on my perfecting my craft and getting better.”
Ruffin credits his style and attitude as a corner for the interest he’s received already.
“Probably my aggressiveness and my physicality,” he said when asked what’s stood out to coaches. “I’m not the biggest in stature, but I’m very physical and I know the game very well.”
A pair of schools are sticking out early for Ruffin at this point.
“My top two, if I had to choose, would probably be LSU and Vandy,” he said. “At Vanderbilt, you can get a top-notch education that is second to none and it’s also a team that’s on the rise. They went 9-4 this year, so Coach (James) Franklin is doing a phenomenal job turning that program around.
“LSU, as everyone knows is DB U, and academically, they’re a good school. They’re not a Vanderbilt, of course, but they’re still a very, very good school.”
Notre Dame hasn’t offered yet, but Irish assistant Scott Booker remains in touch.
“As far as Notre Dame goes, I talk to the coaches every now and then,” Ruffin said. “They were very busy as far as the national championship goes, but I still keep a good relationship with Coach Booker. I look forward to speaking more and more with them in the future and hopefully earning an offer.”
An offer from the Irish could impact Ruffin’s recruitment.
“I consider everything, but it’d be a big boost for me and it’d be a very humbling thing for me,” he said. “It’s a historical program with a lot of great history. For me, it’d be a big accomplishment and a big goal reached.”
Ruffin plans to get out this spring, but only has one visit identified at this point.
“There are a couple junior days we’re looking at, Ohio State is one of them,” he said. “We’re looking at trying to get to that one, but as far as any other planned trips, no not yet.”
Ruffin won’t rush a decision.
“I’m not in a hurry,” he said. “I’d like to get it done going into my senior year, that way I won’t have to worry about it. But if it comes down to it and I don’t make a decision by then, I’ll just play it by ear and see how it goes.
“The biggest factors will be academics first and foremost, tradition, playing time and whether I enjoy being on the campus.”