The 2018 class is loaded with talented tight ends, and one of the nation's very best is down to a final four schools. Lindenhurst (N.Y.) four-star tight end Jeremy Ruckert announced that he is down to Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Ruckert could make a strong case that he is the nation's top tight end. He has been a summer standout on the camp circuit after racking up 50 catches for 807 yards and five touchdowns as a junior. He ended the summer at the Nike Football The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Ore.
The talented pass catcher has all the tools program's want in a tight end. He can handle himself as an attached player in the run game, he's an elite pass catcher from any alignment and he's athletic enough to line up on the outside and present matchup problems for defenses.
Ruckert is the No. 1 tight end on the BGI Tight End Big Board. I had this to say about what I saw from the talented tight end on film:
"Ruckert reminds me a great deal of former Notre Dame All-American tight end Tyler Eifert, who was a tall and skinny wide receiver as a prep player, but the frame was always there for him to blow up. Eifert was listed at 6-6 and 220 pounds as a senior at Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Dwenger, and Ruckert is listed at 6-6 and 225 pounds. Like Eifert, he has very long arms, he’s a tough kid and he has the frame to add at least 25-30 more pounds, and he’ll get more explosive as it happens.
Ruckert’s length is outstanding; he’s 6-6 with long arms, and he has good body control. Athletically, Ruckert has quick feet and he has good speed. He is a pretty nimble athlete, and his ability to quickly pick up speed helps him make a lot of plays after the catch. The Lindenhurst star is an advanced route runner for a junior, although he tends to get a bit too choppy at times with his top ends. Once he adds strength his route running ability will take off."
“I just met the coaching staff for the first time this spring and I really like what they bring to the table,” Ruckert told BGI's Corey Bodden of that March visit. “But obviously, the academics you can’t get better than Notre Dame.”
"It was our first time being there, so we wanted to get a feel for the school, the coaching staff. I was really impressed. Coach Chip Long is new there and he seems like he really knows his stuff. He brings leadership to the position and knows a lot about the position.”
Four Notre Dame tight ends during the Brian Kelly era have been selected into the NFL Draft, a fact that certainly caught Notre Dame's attention.
“You know you’re going to get the ball even if he wasn’t there,” Ruckert said following his visit. “Their tight end production in the NFL is almost second-to-none in recent years. It shows they know how to produce tight ends and they bring in talent and bring out talent.”
Notre Dame has continued to stay among the stop schools for Ruckert, but based on conversations with various sources it appears the Irish have yet to surpass Ohio State or Michigan for the top spot in Ruckert's mind.
Rocket did speak highly of the Irish in an interview while at The Opening. You can see the full interview HERE.