Florida playmaker commits to play football for USU


LOGAN – From impressive downfield catches and juke moves that leave defenders on the ground, to a hook-and-lateral touchdown and a fourth-down conversion on a fake punt reverse, Craig Rucker’s speed and elusiveness have  produced <a href=”http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1907787/highlights/191519386/v2″ target=”_blank”>a wide range of electrifying plays</a> that have kept fans of Florida’s Edgewater High entertained. Now Rucker has committed to play football at Utah State and wants to bring that same energy to Logan when he finishes high school and joins the team in 2016.

“I’m going to come in and work and give the fans what they want,” he said.

Rucker said he has heard others compare himself to current Aggie wide receiver JoJo Natson. There are similarities. At 5’7” and 165 pounds Rucker is the same height as Natson, and only five pounds heavier.  Both players are fast. According to Rucker’s recruiting profile, he runs a 4.38 40-yard dash. Both Natson and Rucker have the ability to create the type of plays you see on highlight reels whenever they touch the ball, especially if let into the open field. Rucker said it has earned him the nickname “Juice.”

“They say I bring it on the field,” he said, giving his only explanation for the name’s origin.

Rucker has made plays on the both sides of the ball during his high school career. He’s recorded interceptions as a cornerback and scored touchdowns as a running back, wide receiver and as a returner on special teams.

“I’ll play anything,” he said. “From slot receiver to running back.”

The Orlando native has never visited the Western states, let alone experienced a Cache Valley winter, but he was impressed enough with Matt Wells and his plan for the USU football program to commit to playing for the Aggies.

“They make it feel like home,” he said “So it really doesn’t matter.”

The current state of the football program was another factor in his decision.

“I feel like they’re building and they are going to be really good in the next couple of years,” he said.

Rucker said his schoolwork will be a big focus during his final year at Edgewater High, where during his junior season he helped his school win its first district title in five years.

“We’ve been down the last few years and we brought it back to where Edgewater is supposed to be this year,” he said.

Rucker said he is planning on making his first visit to USU’s campus this fall.

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