Henry Ruggs III – University of Alabama – 5’11” 188 lbs. – January 24, 1999 (21 years old)
- SPEED, and not with Keanu. Ruggs can absolutely fly. Lace up his PF Flyers and let’s go baby! Ain’t no Dawgs catching him.
- Absolutely a terror when he is working short crosses and slants. Anything that allows him to pull away and get into open space.
- Does a good job working parallel or back to the QB when working on the intermediate or deeper crosses.
- Breaks aren’t overly sharp on slants. Can get delayed in his route trying to shake defender at the line.
USC playing zone coverage and Ruggs finds a spot in between them for his break in. It’s well timed, but not overly deceptive (not that it needs to be here). After that, he jets and hits another gear about the time he’s rounding the last defender.
- Threat to go over the top buys him space on the outside. Safeties had their hands full with that roster.
- Can stop and go in an instant.
- Worked outside a majority of the time. May see more action out of the slot in the NFL.
- Ran routes at every level, but needs some refinement.
- Not a natural adjusting to the ball down field.
Ruggs threatens to take the outside lane up the field. The defender turns and Ruggs breaks it off and grabs the back shoulder throw for the first down.
- Strong hands, can grab the ball out away from him and stay in stride, at least running across the field.
- Average grade for his ability to battle defenders for the ball at the point of reception. That being said, he’s not afraid to go scrap for it.
- Despite being undersized, he’s a tough receiver.
- Can take a hit and stay on his feet.
- Willing blocker. Can set his initial block, but larger defenders can push through him.
A couple examples of his tough running. Catches the shallow cross in stride. First defender comes with a weak shove tackle attempt and Ruggs spins out of it. Those tough yards make a difference when your offense is looking at 2nd & 1 looks better than 2nd and 4.
Here’s another example of Ruggs open field style. Gets the ball on a comeback where the defender was giving him too much space. A quick step fake outside and and he snaps inside for the first down. Takes the hit from the 2 colliding defenders. One falls at his feet and trips him up, but Ruggs stays upright and continues to try and gain yardage.
- Alabama used him on screens and end arounds to present him with the opportunity to make something happen.
- Open field running is dangerous because of the speed, but there are times where he outruns or is a bit too eager and doesn’t allow his blocks to set up.
End around vs Texas A&M in 2018. First defender gets turned around and then by the time he realizes what’s going on, no chance. Ruggs gets a couple nice blocks from then RB, Josh Jacobs, but uses his balance and lateral ability to avoid a couple of guys near the sideline and stay in bounds. Then, it’s just a foot race, which means, it’s over.