Mark Rucker The Latest Walk-On To Commit To WVU
The Mountaineer football team continues to pick up verbal commitments from preferred walk-ons.
Monday it was Tyler Consolidated (W.Va.) High School running back Mark Rucker who announced his intentions of joining Neal Brown’s squad for the 2020 season.
— Mark Rucker (@Rucker_14) January 28, 2020
The 6-foot, 202-pound Rucker was a three-time first-team Class A all-state honoree, rushing for over 4,000 yards and scoring nearly than 600 points in his football career. This past season he was named the Mid-Ohio Valley Running Back Of the Year and the Little Kanawha Conference Player of the Year. As a senior, he totaled 1,841 rushing yards on 187 carries. He also caught 33 passes for an additional 386 yards, and finished with 33 touchdowns and scored 234 points. Rucker earned his all-state notice all three seasons as a “utility” player, as he also was an excellent defensive player at TCHS. He’ll likely get his initial look with the Mountaineers at running back, though his skill set could also translate well at safety.
A multi-sport athlete, Rucker is a key member Silver Knights’ basketball team and last spring finished third in the 100-meter dash (11.42) at the Class A state track championships.
Rucker got a good bit of recruiting attention for his football ability. He took a visit recently to Old Dominion, and also received scholarship offers from Fairmont State, Glenville State, West Virginia State, West Virginia Wesleyan and a number of other Division II programs but ultimately decided to accept WVU’s preferred walk-on offer.
“It’s a blessing to be in this position and I couldn’t be more thankful, God is great,” Rucker tweeted Monday evening. “I’d like to thank every school that has recruited me and given me a chance to play at the next level. This has been my dream since I can remember. I’d like to thank my family for showing me unconditional support of my dreams, making the ultimate sacrifices, and never doubting me. Every single one of my friends supported me since day 1, there’s nothing more I could’ve asked. I’d also like to thank the community for giving me the drive to always do something bigger. I have to thank all of my coaches for pushing me to be the leader, man, and football player I am today. Especially Coach (Ryan) Walton for doing the most for a kid who wanted to chase his dream … we’ve been through it all. I felt that this would be the best decision for me and I couldn’t be more happy with my decision … With that being said, I will be committing to West Virginia University. Let’s work. #TrustTheClimb #HailWV.”
Rucker is the fourth preferred walk-on in the last week to announce his intentions of becoming a member of the Mountaineer football program for the 2020 season, joining wide receiver Preston Fox of Morgantown, linebacker Brocton Blair of Huntington and linebacker Jax McCauley of Austin, Texas.
Several other walk-ons had previously committed to West Virginia, including kicker Kaulin Parris of Bluefield, kicker Danny King of Fort Hill (Md.) High School and receiver C.J. Cole of McGuffey (Pa.) High School.