Recruiting process a long journey for Ruhland

Sometimes, it seems like high school will never end. Although we all know that’s not the case, thinking about the future can feel like thinking of a distant day dream that will never actually get here.

That’s not the case for junior Trevor Ruhland, however. With multiple football scholarships from schools across the country, Ruhland definitely has his hands full with life-shaping decisions.

Ruhland, who has been getting offers since just after his sophomore year, says that the whole process has been a whirlwind.

“My first offer came from Minnesota, [and] that was a huge surprise, because I went up there for a camp […] and then they offered me [a scholarship],” Ruhland said. “Then, the floodgates opened, and all these schools were interested, coming in, telling me ‘come down to a camp, come down watch practice’, stuff like that.”

That whole process, and beginning of a new life, may seem like the best thing that could happen to a teenage boy who’s crazy about football. Although some may disagree and see it as too hectic and intimidating, Ruhland is definitely in the mindset of the former.

“It’s really exciting, actually. It’s exciting, but it’s also a lot of pressure on my shoulders,” he said. “I mean, it’s crazy, but ultimately, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

That pressure of such a big dream comes from everyone around him.

“It’s like, my uncle’s telling me go here, and my gut’s telling me go here, and my dad wants me to go here,” Ruhland said. He appreciates the pressure overall, though.

“This isn’t just a decision for me, it’s for my family, too, so I want them to feel comfortable [with] where I’m going to go, too. My parent’s [also] have been pretty good because they’ve never really pushed for one school. They’ve always said, ‘this is your decision’, so I like their opinion. I ask for their opinion — they don’t just give it to me ”.

Apart from the expected stress of this decision, Ruland’s biggest surprise has been the time commitment of the process.

“I have three calls tonight,” he said. “I have to call this coach, this coach, and this coach, or I have to go Friday to this school, Saturday to this school, and Monday to this school. It gets pretty hectic, I mean, a lot of time goes into this — not just for me, [but also for] my family, and people that are helping me out.”

With time being consumed left and right, you might think that little energy would be kept focused on high school, but that’s not the case.

“I’m still enjoying myself, and I look forward to my senior season, and stuff like that, my senior year. I know when enough’s enough and to just step back,” Ruhland said. “Hey, I’m sixteen still. I mean, I’m still a junior!”

Taking a break from thinking about the future, Ruhland reflected on his past, and how far he’s come, smiling sentimentally over the journey.

“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of as a kid,” he said. “My dad played at Iowa, and I grew up always watching his games, and watching college football. I never really thought [this could happen]. I mean, I knew maybe if I worked hard enough, I could get here, but to know it’s here is crazy”.

Ruhland said he saw his fantasy begin to become reality right before his sophomore year.

“Going into my sophomore year, I kind of knew it could happen. My freshman summer I realized, ‘alright, I got some pretty good size on me, I’ve played pretty well this year.’ I don’t know. It’s just a lot of hoping, and then it’s a lot of doing once you get older.”

Ruhland, who wants to study either business or communication once he actually gets to college, recognises the importance of education.

“Football doesn’t last forever — your degree does,” he said.

And the school he’ll be getting that degree from? The University of Notre Dame. The Division I school won Ruhland’s spot in their lineup, but until then, he’s just excited for his final year as a Trojan.