Jeremy Ruckert’s motto with his trainer Jay Fulco is “show up to show out.”
Well, 247Sports’ top-ranked tight end in the Class of 2018 has been doing both, culminating in an amazing week.
Ruckert, from Lindenhurst (N.Y.), was among five players to earn invitations to The Opening Finals in Oregon at Sunday’s Opening Regional in New Jersey. Also Sunday, he received an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. By midweek, he had accepted an invitation to play in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii.
“It’s very humbling and makes me feel awesome because of how hard I’ve been working this offseason for these invites,” Ruckert said.
Ruckert’s goal for The Opening was a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash and he clocked a 4.76. He also showed the physical skills that make him so attractive to colleges in measurables — 6-5 1/2 and 230 pounds, a 35.1-inch vertical leap, 4.41 in the shuttle — and in the way he handled himself in one-on-one drills.
Ruckert said the focus of his preparation has been, “Everything we do at camps and getting bigger, stronger and faster.”
He also credited Fulco, “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my trainer.”
Said Fulco, “I would love to take credit for Jeremy but he truly is amazing. His work ethic is unmatched.”
Along with his work ethic, Fulco pointed to Ruckert’s athleticism that it a difference maker.
“I have to constantly challenge Jeremy — from focus drills to getting him used to catching in traffic, to constantly hammering footwork with him to help him with his press breaks,” Fulco said. “Most importantly, we’re constantly working on his reaction time. I want him to be able to use his athleticism faster than anyone on the field.
“Our relationship helps with this whole process. He’s the little big brother. He calls me on my days off to come to the gym and we’re constantly competing in everything we do. Jeremy’s mindset is something that can’t be taught.”
From a recruiting standpoint, Ruckert indicated a top four of Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. Those schools came to visit him at school this spring. He said he is not currently planning additional visits but that could change. His goal is a summer commitment before he begins his senior year.