His opinion may be loosely formed, but whatever the case, Alec Ruth returned to Colorado from his Kansas State visit prepared to name a leader for the first time.
There was no commitment and there won't be in the immediate future. But the trip to Manhattan, Kan. made enough of an impression on the Valor Christian tackle to cause a shakeup in his recruitment. The frontrunner? Ruth says it's close, but …
"I'd say K-State is probably on top," Ruth said on Thursday. "Oregon State is No. 2. They're right there. I know that's kind of unfair to say because I haven't been out to Oregon State yet, but I just really liked K-State a lot."
As for the trip to the Sunflower State, the fare was standard. Ruth spent time getting to know the Wildcat coaching staff. He spoke with head coach Bill Snyder, Offensive line coach Charlie Dickey and linebackers coach Mike Cox. He got to know the current players and toured the program's facilitates.
There was nothing out of the ordinary and few surprises, but that was fine by Ruth.
"It was awesome," he said. "I loved it there. It was great. I expected the smallness of the town and stuff, and everyone just felt like a family. You could tell that everyone there really did care about each other."
Oregon State will have a chance to unseat K-State from the top spot in Ruth's recruitment soon enough. The date for a trip to see Corvallis hasn't been set yet, but the process of finding time to make it happen has begun. For now, Ruth can only provide a loose timetable.
"I'm not sure when for sure, but it will be in the near future," he said.
Ruth is so certain of his top two options that he's considering moving up his commitment date. Originally, the two-star prospect had planned to wait until after the season to see what other offers presented themselves as he played out his senior year.
So much for that. Ruth thinks K-State and Oregon State may provide him all the options he needs. Suddenly. he would like to be listed on a school's commitment list by mid September.
"Now I'm thinking I might commit during the season," Ruth said. "I want to see how the first two games go and focus on my team because those are pretty big games for us. Then, I think I'll be ready to get it out of the way."
Ruth lists four total scholarship offers as well as an invitation to play at Harvard. As a junior, he helped lead Valor to a 12-2 overall record and a state championship.