2017 Season Countdown: #24 Cesar Ruiz

Tag: Cesar Ruiz

10Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #24 Cesar Ruiz

Cesar Ruiz (image via Scout)

Name: Cesar Ruiz
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 315 lbs.
High school: Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy
Position: Center/offensive guard
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #51
Last year: Ruiz was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating: 99

Michigan started recruiting Ruiz when he was an underclassman teammate of Ron Johnson and Brad Hawkins at Camden (NJ) Camden. For his junior and senior seasons, Ruiz transferred to IMG Academy and got some high-level coaching. He looked raw at center when he was in tenth grade (surprise!), but he improved by leaps and bounds when put into the atmosphere at IMG. Throughout the recruiting process, he was the #1 center in the nation, and Michigan led most of the way. He flirted with other schools, but the choice always seemed likely to be the Wolverines.

After enrolling early in January, we got a good look and a fair amount of information about the prognosis for Ruiz as a freshman. Reports were glowing about his readiness and versatility, since he doubles his value with the ability to play offensive guard. The coaches have been working him out at both center and right guard, where he is pushing presumptive starters Patrick Kugler and Michael Onwenu, respectively. Physically, he looked ready to play in the spring game, but he was late to react to a couple blitzes that hurt his offense. Things move quicker in college, even if you were playing elite teams as part of an elite program in high school. There are always concerns when you have a freshman offensive lineman playing significant minutes, and it’s likely that Ruiz will have to step in for some good sized stretches this fall. After all, what are the chances that all three of Michigan’s interior linemen stay healthy for the whole season? I think Ruiz will handle himself well for a freshman, but I did a piece on what the #1 centers have done in the past, and it’s not great (LINK). Expectations shouldn’t be sky-high right now, but the kid can play.

Prediction: Backup center/guard

17Apr 2017
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2017 Spring Game Thoughts: Offense

Brandon Peters

Brandon Peters (#18) with Michael Onwenu (#50) and Ty Isaac (#32)

SITE NEWS: Right now we have 35 users with avatars uploaded. When that number reaches 50, I’ll do a drawing for a $50 gift card to Amazon.

The Maize team won Saturday’s spring game by a score of 31-29 with a last-second field goal by Kyle Seychel. You can find videos and highlights here (LINK).

Hit the jump for some position-by-position thoughts on what we all saw. (Note: not every player will be mentioned.)

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9Feb 2017
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2017 Recruiting Grades: Offense

Donovan Peoples-Jones (image via Rivals)

Commits (1): Dylan McCaffrey
Decommits (0): N/A
Why? McCaffrey was a U.S. Army All-American and there have been whispers that Jim Harbaugh believes McCaffrey is the best high school quarterback prospect he’s seen in a long time, maybe going back to Andrew Luck. So there’s that. McCaffrey has the height, the bloodline, and the athleticism to be a very good quarterback. However, there are questions about his arm strength and mechanics. So while Harbaugh really likes him, I would have preferred someone like Davis Mills, who chose Stanford instead.

Hit the jump for the rest of the offensive grades.

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6Feb 2017
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A History of #1 Center Recruits

Cesar Ruiz

In past years, I have done examinations of the various positions at which Michigan has pulled in the #1 recruit. So you can find pieces on the #1 running back (LINK), the #1 cornerback (LINK), and the #1 overall recruits (LINK). Below you’ll find a bevy of household names for the sexiest position in football: offensive center.

2000: Jason Respert – C – Warner Robins (GA) Northside
Respert was a backup guard at Tennessee as a freshman and then earned the starting center job in 2001, only to have a season-ending ankle injury after three games. He would go on to start seven games at guard during the 2002-2003 seasons before being named a captain in 2004. I can’t find any evidence of him playing in the NFL, and the latest news I can find is that he was coaching high school football in his home state.

2001: Ben Wilkerson – C – Hemphill (TX) Hemphill
Wilkerson started immediately as a freshman at LSU in 2001. He was First Team All-SEC in 2003 and 2004, and he was the co-recipient of the Rimington Trophy (along with Michigan’s David Baas) in 2004. He went undrafted in 2005 and then played in 32 total games with the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons from 2005-2008. Since then he has been coaching, most recently as an assistant offensive line coach with the Chicago Bears.

2002: Bobby Morton – C – McKinney (TX) McKinney
Morton redshirted for Notre Dame in 2002 and then became the full-time starting center in 2003. He moved to left guard and started in 2004 and then started four games at center in 2005, playing a backup role the rest of his redshirt junior season. He bounced back and forth between center and guard as a fifth year senior in 2006. He was not picked in the 2007 NFL Draft and I can’t find any record of him playing in the NFL.

Hit the jump for more.

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