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July 1, 2002The University of Nebraska has made another move on the football scholarship offer front. They have given the word to standout St. Joseph (Mo.)?Benton tight end Martin Rucker, who is 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds.
"Just got an offer from Nebraska," Martin said. "It was last Tuesday." He now has offers from Missouri and Nebraska with Nebraska holding a slight lead over Missouri right now.
The 6-foot-5 and 205 pound Rucker is not ready to make a decision yet.
"I'm keeping all of my options open right now," Rucker said. "It is still early. I'm still a junior."
Nebraska: "My brother went there. I know their system a little better, that and their tradition of winning. I have been wanting to go to Nebraska for a while. I have always wanted to go there. I may have gotten the offer I wanted to get."
Missouri: "Their facilities were better than I thought they were. I like the way the coaching staff is real positive staff about everything and the direction they are headed in. I think they will do wonders for that program. They are trying to focus on getting all of the top athletes from Missouri."
What do you think are your strong points on the football field?
"The coaches are impressed by my footwork and my hand and eye coordination. For a big man it is kind of rare to find."
At a recent Nebraska camp he registered a respectable 1,785 score, a 40-yard dash time of 4.9 seconds (electronic) and a 29 inch vertical leap. He also attended a one-day camp at Missouri.
"I didn't get any," he said about football awards or honors. His team did not throw the ball too much, so his statistics were not there. "Teams started keying on me."
However, that was not the case for basketball. He was named first-team all-conference, first-team all-district and first-team all-city for his basketball performance as a junior.
His football team had a 3-6 record last year. While playing linebacker and defensive end, he estimates that he had "six or seven" tackles per game or approximately 60 tackles for the season. Also, he had 1 1/2 sacks and a lot of pass rushes.
Rucker is solid for qualifying academically. He carries a 2.9 grade point average. He just received back his ACT results and they were excellent.