Malik Rucker, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior defensive back from Robbinsdale Cooper, is one of the top defensive players from the Class of 2013 in the state. Rucker, who committed to Iowa this summer, attended the Minnesota-Northwestern this past weekend and filled GopherHole.com on the latest on his recruitment and senior season.
Gopher Hole: You guys are off to a good start. How pleased are you how well things are going this season?
Malik Rucker: I am pretty pleased, but we should be 7-0. We lost two kind of fluky games were it was kind of on us. A lot of mistakes. A lot of penalty yards. I think that we are doing pretty good. We had a few injuries going into the next few games and playoffs, but I think that we are going to be pretty good in the playoffs, especially in our section, so I feel that we have a good chance at state.
Gopher Hole: Wednesday is your last regular season game. How are you going to feel about your last game? A lot of emotions in that one?
Malik Rucker: It is going to be bittersweet because I am ready to move onto the college game, but then again, I know that I am really going to miss high school. It is going to be bittersweet.
Gopher Hole: You are having a strong season on defense and running back Billy Kellogg is having a good year offensively? You think that you have a good chance to doing well in the playoffs, right?
Malik Rucker: Him and Ashanti Payne (who also attended the Minnesota-Northwestern game). He (Payne) has 900 yards and Billy has 1,000 yards. They are both running backs, so we have pretty dominating backfield and we have some pretty dominant receivers.
Gopher Hole: How about your defense? How pleased are you with that?
Malik Rucker: I am pretty pleased with it. We started the year off slow. That is probably why we lost our first game (49-42 to Benilde-St. Margaret's). The defense started out slow, but we picked it up. Friday, we allowed one touchdown. It was a pass with a good run on it. They hit us with a play action play and just threw it over us. I think that we have been doing pretty good.
Gopher Hole: How about your recruitment. You committed to Iowa this summer. How many times have you been down there for games?
Malik Rucker: I have been to one game. I went to the Iowa-Iowa State game. It was a pretty nice game. Iowa lost that game. I am still solid to Iowa, but I am still looking at a few schools.
Gopher Hole: Who else are you looking at besides Minnesota?
Malik Rucker: Minnesota, Arizona State and I might take an official visit to Cal.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, Minnesota has made it known that they want to keep all the top players in-state and with you being one of those players, it has to make you feel pretty proud that they are still showing you a lot of love.
Malik Rucker: Yes sir, it does because over the years they usually don’t show as much love to in-state recruits. They are showing me a lot.
Gopher Hole: Are you planning on making some other visits or going to any places other than those schools?
Malik Rucker: I’m not really sure yet. I might after this Wednesday’s game, but I’m not really sure.
Gopher Hole: Are you doing any All-Star games anything else after the season is over?
Malik Rucker: I might do the Semper Fidelis Marine game. I might do an Offense versus Defense game or I might back to Team USA and play for the World.
Gopher Hole: What things have you been really working on to continue to improve yourself as a player?
Malik Rucker: Just securing tackles. Making sure that I secure my tackles and make big plays for my team.