Downey High School athlete Jabari Ruffin (6’3” 230 lbs), verbally committed to USC on March 2 after a unofficial campus visit while still only being a junior in high school.
Ruffin did not plan to commit to any school just yet, but said he felt right at home after just one visit to the USC campus.
“I’m strongly committed to the Trojans, they have such a great tradition and I grew up rooting for them and now that I am going to be one of them. I am really honored for the opportunity.” Ruffin said.
Ruffin said he still may visit the other schools that have offered him a scholarship but still feels USC is the right place for him.
“You really only get one opportunity like this so I plan to enjoy the experience and make the most of it,.” Ruffin explained.
Ruffin rushed for five touchdowns and 174 rushing yards on 22 carries in his junior season.
He also led his team in receiving yards with 593 yards and receptions with 35 as he averaged nearly 17 yards per reception. He had four touchdowns through the air last season.
Despite his statistics on offense, Ruffin plans to play on the defensive side of the ball for the Trojans, since that is what most teams are recruiting him for.
The future Trojan linebacker also was among Downey’s leaders in tackles with 87 total tackles.
Ruffin had offers from such schools as Arizona State, Arizona, Boise State, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Norte Dame, Michigan and USC.
Ruffin said he had strongly considered on committing last October, during the 2010 season, when Washington had sent him his first offer, and where his good friend Jesse Callier is a part of the team.
He decided to wait to make a decision and hold off on Washington’s offer.
Ruffin said he is glad he waited because he never thought he was going to get any other offers, let alone USC, which is his dream school.
“Downey Head Coach Jack Williams really was the heart of this whole thing, he really looks after me when it comes to grades and its because of him I got some of the offers that I did, and I plan not to let him or any of my peers down,” Ruffin said.
Ruffin is going to spend the rest of his time as a Downey Viking focusing on his grades and preparing for his upcoming senior season.
“I plan to get bigger, faster and stronger this year in the weight room and just enjoy my last season here as a Viking with my teammates before I move forward to USC and help put Downey on the map!” Ruffin added.