New Hope (Minn.) Cooper three-star defensive back prospect Malik Rucker committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes almost one year ago today: June 15, 2012. Rucker remained a Hawkeye all the way to signing his national letter of intent, spurning interest from other Big Ten teams, including the Nebraska Cornhuskers and home state Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Rucker joins an Iowa program that, under Kirk Ferentz, is routinely among the nation’s best defensively. He spoke with Evan Massey for SaturdayBlitz.com about the recruiting process and his goals as he embarks on his career.
Q. Why did you choose to sign with the Hawkeyes? What made them right for you?
A. I was most comfortable there. They offered everything that I was looking for in a school and football program and kept it 100 percent real with me throughout the process.
Q. How did the recruiting process go for you? Was it exciting? What other schools were most interested in you?
A. It was great. I was blessed with a lot of opportunities and it was very exciting. I ended up with 20+ offers and they were all pretty interested.
Q. Heading to the Big Ten, how excited are you about the intense rivalries you’ll be playing in?
A. I’m very excited. I get to play in my home town and play against other great teams. It will be fun.
Q. What would you tell the fans to expect from you on the field?
A. A play maker that works hard. I’m not afraid of anybody in run support or coverage.
Q. Who has made the biggest impact on your career to help get you to this point?
A. My mom and siblings.
Q. How do you feel about your chances at playing time this season?
A. I think I can contribute. With two cornerbacks leaving it opens up more opportunity for me.
Q. What do you like to do off the field in your free time? What’s your favorite movie?
A. Just hang with my friends and family, go to the mall, hoop a little. Favorite movie is either Paid in Full or Friday Night Lights.
Q. What would you say is the biggest difference between high school and college football?
A. Everybody is bigger, stronger, and faster. Game speed is the biggest difference for me.
Q. What would you tell a young football player with dreams of playing Div. I to do?
A. Always work hard no matter what. Go out and get it. You’re competing against the whole country for a scholarship so find a way to stand out.