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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 50 On paper, Rucker might look like one of the freshmen with the best odds to have a chance to play right away, since Pur- due has questions at corner and because Rucker would seem more physically equipped than most incoming true cor- ners would be. Height: 6-0 Weight: 190 High School: Ryan Hometown: Denton, Texas Senior Stats: 38 tackles, 3 TFL J eff Brohm thinks Jordan Rucker could compete for a spot in Purdue's sec- ondary as soon as this season. The defensive back plays with the physicality to do so, per his coach at Ryan High School. "He's all of 6-foot, 185 pounds, and he's going to get bigger," Dave Henigan said. "He's pretty physical. I think that's what a lot of people liked about him is they felt like he projected to having the ability to play both (cornerback and safety). "I think he's a great tackler. That's one of the things that when you watch his video, that jumps out at people is that he's not afraid to mix it up. We ask him to do that in our defense." Rucker, a native of Oklahoma who had moved to Denton, Texas, committed to Purdue in mid-November after a visit a few weeks prior, doing so over a quality offer list including Arizona State, SMU, Tulsa, Illinois and oth- ers. "We like his makeup, he has a lot of versatility, already has some good strength to him," Brohm said. Rucker had more interceptions as a junior than a senior, Henigan said, because teams started throwing away from him after becoming aware of Rucker's abilities. That included excellent ball skills, so much so, Henigan said Rucker could have started as a receiver at Ryan, had the team needed him. But Rucker isn't a "big-time burner," running probably in the 4.6 range in the 40, Henigan said, but that doesn't diminish his ability. He's an instinctual player. "When he's in position to make a play on the ball, typically, he's going to make the play," Henigan said. The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Rucker was Ryan High School's backup quarter- back, having to play there during the playoffs when the starter was injured. Jordan Rucker Defensive back "There were a num- ber of thicker, more physical cornerbacks that I liked in Texas this year and Rucker was one of them. Sometimes a guy like him doesn't have all the natural turn-and-run speed that you see many of the truly elite corners have, but Rucker is crafty in coverage and really pesky with the way that he uses his hands when defending downfield. You would expect a player like him to body-up on guys and that's exactly what he does." — Texas analyst Nick Krueger take Action photo by Sam Bridges

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