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TBO Prep Sports Robinson

Robinson's Ruiz providing toughness

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 01:29 AM
TAMPA -

Tough guy, this Martin Ruiz.

"He gets knocked down and pops back up," Robinson High football coach Mike DePue said. "He lays a hit on somebody and pops back up. He's not afraid of anything or any situation. He gets in there and gets after it."

He also plays both sides of the ball, either at running back or safety.

"That's the way I like it," Ruiz said. "I don't like to watch."

Ruiz, at 6-feet, 200 pounds, is expected to run for a ton of yards this season after averaging almost 7 yards a carry and gaining 783 in 2011.

DePue is more optimistic this year because (Ruiz) is stronger and faster and he's running behind a stronger offensive line that includes two 280-pound University of South Florida commits – Conner Rafferty and Bruce Hector.

"We'd like to see (Ruiz) wearing down some teams," DePue said. "He's the type of back who can do that, especially behind these linemen."

Leader? Absolutely.

"I want to see the whole team doing what they're supposed to be doing at all times," Ruiz said. "I want to be that leader because I know what has to be done to be successful."

Like hit the weight room for every single off-season team workout.

"You have to be an example," Ruiz said. "You just do."

Ruiz's tough demeanor and 4.5-second speed in the 40 have several Division I colleges checking him out, including Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and the University of South Florida.

"I'd say he can definitely play at that level," DePue said. "I'd say there's no doubt about it."

DePue and Ruiz gained a good measuring stick for college from Ruiz's cousin, wide receiver Frankie Williams, who is playing for the University of South Florida.

"(Williams) showed they way," Ruiz said. "I want to succeed like him."

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