An unofficial visit to Iowa City proved fruitful for New Hope (Minn.) Cooper defensive back Malik Rucker on Friday. The 6-0, 175-pound prospect emerged from conversations with the Hawkeye's coaching staff with his first BCS offer.
"I was very excited about it," Rucker said. "It means a lot to me because it is the first Big Ten team to offer me. It's just very rewarding."
Prior to his visit to Iowa and subsequent offer, Rucker had received considerable interest from the Hawkeye's coaches. He was able to talk with defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson about their take on his abilities.
"He said he liked how physical I was at safety and he could see that I could move my hips and play in coverage," Rucker said. "And they liked that I could return and play special teams.
Friday's visit also gave Rucker the opportunity to evaluate Iowa's campus and the individuals involved with the football program.
"I met with all of the coaches," Rucker said. "It seems like everybody there has a great time at Iowa. It just seems like a big family."
Prior to Iowa, South Dakota State and North Dakota had also offered Rucker. He has also been hearing from Nebraska, where his father played college ball, as well as Michigan State, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin, Tulsa and Oklahoma State.
"I'm not close to making a decision yet," Rucker said. "I've just got to see what other options I might have and explore some more schools."
Rucker will be driving to Ames on Saturday to visit the state of Iowa's other BCS program, Iowa State. He expects to visit several of the schools showing interest for spring practices later this month.