Lindenhurst, New York, four-star tight end Jeremy Ruckert has been among the most talked-about prospects at Nike Football's The Opening Finals this week. On Sunday, announced a Final Four of Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
“Right now, I'm really just focusing on those four schools,” Ruckert told Eleven Warriors at media availability earlier this week. “As I near a decision, I want to learn as much as I can about those schools because I'm going to spending my next four years there. I want to make sure I leave no regret, no doubt of the school I want to go to."
The 6-foot-6, 238-pound Ruckert is considered the second-best tight end and No. 75 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He's been to Columbus numerous times over the last year, but not since Ohio State's Junior Day in late January. Head coach Urban Meyer has taken extra measures to make sure the Buckeyes don't fall behind in his recruitment, though.
“Coach Meyer texts me every day. He texted me this morning,” Ruckert said. “He doesn't just text me, either. He texts my family and my girlfriend and sends letters to my girlfriend's mom. He really goes the extra mile to make sure my parents and my family after comfortable being with him the next four years, which is the most important thing.”
Ruckert is extremely familiar with his other finalists, as well, as he's made trips to Ann Arbor, Madison and South Bend this spring. When it comes time to making a final decision, Ruckert said life after football will play the largest role.
“Whatever we do wherever I go, there's going to be national attention. We're going to be all over TV. They're going to develop you to be the best player you can be,” he said. “But the biggest thing is after football. You can't play your whole life — the average career in the NFL is 3 1/2 years, so you're about 27 or 28 when you're done. Then you have to start over again. Whatever school I want go to I want to make sure I'm comfortable with having an out after football and being successful.”
Once he finally does make a commitment — which, as noted, will be in the coming weeks — Ruckert plans to shut down his recruitment entirely.
“The way I was raised, once I make a commitment, that's going to be it,” he said. “I'm not going to take any visits to other schools. Once I feel comfortable enough to commit to a school, that's going to be the school I push for. I'm going to start recruiting other guys. Where I'm from, the way I was raised by my dad and my mom, once I'm committed I have to finish it.”