Continuing to mix things up, I thought I’d do a look-ahead to Georgia State’s August camp in a different format, A-to-Z:
I’ll continue to post one letter a day on the blog for the next 26 days:
Today is …
R is for Ruiz, Joel
Joel Ruiz, when healthy, is arguably the best tight end in the Sun Belt. He caught 39 passes for 478 yards and three touchdowns last year.
However, he is coming back from surgery on his right knee. He missed the spring practices but said he expects to play in every game this season.
If Ruiz is forced to miss a few games, Keith Rucker has the size and speed to also be used as a weapon in the passing attack. He caught five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown last year. His year was also interrupted by injuries.
Should Ruiz and Rucker continue to be bothered by injuries, Bill Teknipp is the third tight end. Freshman Ari Werts has the size to play tight end, but his speed seems to make him better suited as a wide receiver or H-back-type player to create mismatches on linebackers or safeties.
Ruiz is a weapon because he’s very good across the middle, which gives quarterback Nick Arbuckle security and keeps the safeties from drifting out wide to provide “over-the-top” coverage on the wide receivers.
And in a bonus….
Georgia State had the Sun Belt’s second-worst rush defense last year, giving up an average of 303.4 yards per game. Only New Mexico State (309.9) was worse.
Opponents averaged 6.3 yards per carry, tied for the worst in the Sun Belt.