For the second straight year, Alabama has failed to hang on to one of the nation’s top players at his position late in the recruiting process.
Brandon Ruiz, the nation’s No. 2 kicker out of Williams Field High School (Gilbert, Ariz.), has de-committed from Alabama, he announced on Twitter. Last season, Eddy Pineiro flipped his commitment from Alabama to Florida late in the recruiting process.
The loss of Ruiz leaves Alabama with a glaring hole in the Class of 2017 because Crimson Tide kicker Adam Griffith will not be a part of the team next season. Ruiz would have had a great shot at being the starter. Redshirt junior Andy Pappanastos is the only kicker on the Alabama roster going into next season. He converted his only field-goal attempt in 2016, a 33-yarder vs. Chattanooga, and had attempted just one other field goal in his career (a missed 42-yarder while with Ole Miss in 2014).
Ruiz told reporters at the Army Bowl just last week that his recruitment was over, and he said how excited he was to play for Alabama next season. Now, that’s no longer happening.
A source close to the team said Ruiz had a change of heart and decided he wanted to remain close to his home in Arizona. Earlier in the Army Bowl week, Ruiz told reporters he was still considering Arizona State.
It is unknown how Alabama will fill Ruiz’s spot in the class.
Please Respect My Decision to Re-Open My Recruiting Process. pic.twitter.com/mP0LiK8pcR
— Brandon Ruiz (@BrandonRRuiz) January 16, 2017