University Of South Dakota defensive coordinator Jason Petrino stated that Mason Ruiz will be coming in and helping out a lot. I would say that statement would be 100% true. Ruiz has his sight on making it to the next level. This year, I look for good things to happen for Ruiz and the University Of South Dakota. My interview with the star himself Ruiz known as Mase.
What year were you born? 1993
Where were you born? Madera, Ca
When did you start playing football? Middle school
What does football mean to you? Opportunities, Life lessons, Building relationships
Were you a starter or backup player? Starter
What was your biggest accomplishment at San Joaquin Memorial HS? Getting the chance to graduate and walk across the stage to make my family happy.
What did College of the Sequoias teach you the most? Taught me a lot about myself personally, trying to find out who I was as a man since I was leaving on my own and taking on the grown up responsibilities. Also how much I really had a passion to continue my career to be a student/athlete
Why did you decide to play for University of South Dakota? The coaching staff there had tons and tons of belief in me as a person and also a athlete. I also chose the university because it was in a small town and I loved that feeling. Great people, amazing culture, and the staff just felt like family when I was there.
Do you think playing basketball has helped you gain an edge in football? I believe it has helped me a lot actually, my lateral quickness and it help my quick twitch in making me more explosive off the ball. I do believe that basketball played a helping roll, but I most of all had to apply myself to the football aspect even more. It was once I stopped playing basketball full-time and give all my attention to football I felt like I was becoming a good player.
How have you been staying fit this offseason? Well at this level of competition it is all about being in condition so myself and our strength and conditioning program help me from day 1 when I stepped on campus and gave me all the tools to get where I needed to be for the season. Also focusing more on the movements/lifts that I wasn’t good at to.
Who are you excited to play this year? I am speechless when I think about the upcoming season. To actually look in the mirror and tell myself I am a division 1 student/athlete is amazing and play against great competition.
What has been your biggest accomplishment as an athlete? Getting scholarships Offers
What keeps you motivated? My family, the struggles I went through when I lived with my father. I learned a lot about being grateful for anything and everything you receive. It also humbled me as I got older and things shaped me into the man I am today. Not saying I’m perfect but it has helped me.
What would you say is your biggest strengths on the field? I would say my athleticism being explosive, fast and hungry to make a play any chance I can.
Can you provide any struggles you have faced in your life? I think having my lights cut off and sometimes not knowing where I was going to live at times. My family was broken so I was torn between the two and plus being the oldest was the hardest because I had younger brothers and sisters who I know looked up to me and if not yet they were going to some day. The stuff I went through was hard for a young man. I didn’t always have the guidance I needed nor the right role model, but sometimes I look back at my past and look at how it has help me in my future. It would be easy to point out the excuses and how I acted this way because of whatever, but I didn’t I took it upon myself and always separated myself from everybody.
Will you enter the 2015 NFL draft? Honestly it would great! I would love it but only if the opportunity presents itself. I understand to the fullest that there a thousands who want this chance to take on a dream you’ve had since you were little. If I feel that a coaching staff has the faith and belief in me and see that I can help the team in any matter possible I would take the opportunity with full steam ahead.