Name: Kenneth Ruff
Position: Defensive tackle
Hometown: Lauderhill, Fla.
High School: Dillard
2018 Stats: Played in every game last year, with two sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and 19 total tackles. He backed up at tackle for Chris Slayton quite admirably after switching to the interior from linebacker.
2019 Projections: Some big shoes to fill, but Ruff is part of the rotation that needs to replace Slayton’s production from the defensive tackle spot next to McKinley Williams. It currently looks like Josh Black is penciled in as the other starter, but Ruff should get plenty of snaps as the next man in on the defensive line.
How’d He Get Here?: Ruff was recruited by a good number of schools, with Clemson, Virginia, UNC, Georgia Tech and NC State all offering him in the ACC. He was actually a UVA commit before seeing the light and declaring for the Orange.
What’d Recruiting Sites Say?: Three-star linebacker for all intents and purposes.
Money Quote: Ruff speaking about his switching positions when he got on campus with Syracuse.com. (Bonus interview as well) —
“He took on all that,” defensive lineman Kayton Samuels said. “You wouldn’t know he switched positions. You would think he’s been doing it for a minute, just because he’s smart. He’s a student of the game.”
Tweets Of Wonder: Ruff catching some passes in 2016 - Possibly during his sojourn as a tight end?
Here's a video of Kenneth Ruff catching passes at practice today. Had been a DE pic.twitter.com/KGEoqdz3Lj— Chris Libonati (@ChrisLibonati) August 24, 2016
What movie would Dino Babers recommend for him?: Dino would have to go with the modern classic “The Avengers“ starring Mark Ruff-alo. Ruffalo plays a very large, very green character known as the Hulk, who you might be familiar with. This seems fitting for KJ Ruff as well. Win-win.
Interesting Nugget O’Interest: Defensive tackle is his third position with the Orange. He came in as a linebacker, moved to defensive line, then tight end and back to the line again.
Let’s Get A Good Look Atcha: Ruff speaking to Matt Park and some highlights from high school.