Knights’ Rucker Invited to Prep Combine
At 6’2,” 190 pounds of muscle, and still growing, Tyler Consolidated sophomore Mark Rucker is impressing coaches around the state and catching the eye of recruiters from several different colleges. Most recently, he was one of only 100 or less, chosen to attend the Appalachian Prep Combine.
Rucker is not your ordinary Class A athlete. As a sophomore, he has stood out as a wide receiver (which happened to be his invite choice to the combine) in football, but is skilled as well as a defensive back. He is also a feared kick and punt returner. Every time he touched the ball, he was a treat to score.
The prep combine happens to be one of the better camps for those looking to showcase their skills and give recruiters and ex-players, on the major level, the opportunity to see what may be helpful to their programs. On hand to witness the talent attending, were coaches from Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia. South Carolina and West Virginia.
To say the least, Rucker was impressive and drew lots of attention. Several WVU players were there and were highly impressed with his ability and (what they called his natural talent). The purpose of the invitational only camp is to showcase your talents and also to be challenged by other top athletes in order to increase your speed, reflexes and strength.
Rucker did not disappoint in any of those areas as he was at the top of his weight class in the bench press with 13 reps. His speed test in the 40 yard dash was near 4.4 while he also performed well in the shuttle events. As a primary wide receiver invite, he made the biggest impression with several moves that froze the defenders and was sure handed with only a few drops from top-notch passers.
“Running routes was one of the things they looked at, and I received several tips from coaches and ex-receivers which gave me the confidence to make some moves. I hope to be able to use those in the upcoming season here at Tyler Consolidated;”said Rucker. “I know that if I want to play somewhere after high school, I have to keep on working to improve and attend these kind of events to gain the knowledge and skills I need to get to that level.”
Mark Rucker is that kind of athlete. He excels in the class room and on the field and will bring excitement to fans of Tyler Consolidated for the next two years. The future looks bright for this young man, and from all indications, he will be able to achieve what ever he sets his mind to. To top it all off, he is a humble young man who never fails to speak kindly about his teammates and coaches. During the Tyler Star News’ interview with Rucker, he was quick to point out another underclassman who he felt has the potential to become one of the Knights’ best ever track stars.
That is one trait which sets Rucker apart from many others: he doesn’t let it be all about him. He quietly goes about his business with the thought of doing whatever it takes to reach his goals. Look for great things from him in the next two years, and keep your eye on him at the state track meet.