Cesar Ruiz
refer to caption
Ruiz with Michigan in 2018
No. 51 – New Orleans Saints
Position:Guard
Personal information
Born: (1999-06-14) June 14, 1999 (age 23)
Camden, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:316 lb (143 kg)
Career information
High school:IMG Academy
(Bradenton, Florida)
College:Michigan (2017–2019)
NFL Draft:2020 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 8, 2022
Games played:40
Games started:34
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Cesar Ruiz (born June 14, 1999) is an American football guard for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan and was drafted by the Saints in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Early life and high school career

Ruiz was born and grew up in Camden, New Jersey. Ruiz's father, Cesar Edwin Ruiz, was killed when he was struck by a motorist while helping a driver change tires when Cesar was eight years old.[1] He attended Camden High School before transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida after his sophomore year.[2][3] Ruiz was named an Under Armour All-American as a senior in 2017.[4] Rated a four-star recruit and the top center in his class nationally, Ruiz committed to play college football at Michigan over offers from Florida, Auburn, LSU, and several other top-level programs.[5][6]

College career

Ruiz played in ten games as a freshman, starting five games at right guard and long snapper with his first career start coming against Minnesota.[7][8] Ruiz started all 13 of Michigan's games at center as a sophomore and was named third-team All-Big Ten Conference by the league's coaches and was an honorable mention selection by the media.[9][10]

Ruiz was named to the Watchlist for the Rimington Trophy going into his junior season.[11] Ruiz started all 13 of Michigan's games at center, allowing only eight total quarterback pressures in 447 snaps and was named the best pass blocking center in college football by Pro Football Focus, and was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and third-team by the media.[12][13] Following the end of the season, Ruiz announced that he had decided to forgo his senior season in order to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.[14] Over three seasons, Ruiz played in 36 games for Michigan with 31 games started.[15]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
6 ft 2+34 in
(1.90 m)
307 lb
(139 kg)
33+18 in
(0.84 m)
11 in
(0.28 m)
5.08 s 4.64 s 7.91 s 33.0 in
(0.84 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
28 reps 21
All values from NFL Combine[16]
Ruiz (right, #51) playing for the Saints in 2021.
Ruiz (right, #51) playing for the Saints in 2021.

Ruiz was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round with the 24th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.[17] Ruiz made his NFL debut on September 21, 2020 on Monday Night Football against the Las Vegas Raiders, playing on six snaps at right guard.[18]

In the 2021 season opening win against the Green Bay Packers, Ruiz started the game at right guard, but played center for rest of the game after Erik McCoy suffered a calf injury in the first quarter.[19] He continued being the team's starting center for the next four games until McCoy returned in Week 7 and Ruiz moved back to right guard.

References

  1. ^ Sang, Orion (September 20, 2018). "Michigan's Cesar Ruiz finds smile after death of Good Samaritan father". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  2. ^ Hunt, Todderick (July 27, 2015). "Camden All-American center Cesar Ruiz discusses decision to transfer to IMG Academy in Florida". NJ.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Ragazzo, Pat. "Draft Prospect Preview: OC Cesar Ruiz, Michigan". SI.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  4. ^ "Under Armour All-America Game Diary: Cesar Ruiz benefits from tough surroundings". USATodayHSS.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  5. ^ Kirpalani, Sanjay (August 30, 2016). "4-Star Cesar Ruiz Discusses Recruitment Updates and Love of Denzel Washington". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Snyder, Mark (December 19, 2016). "Nation's top center Cesar Ruiz commits to Michigan football". USA Today. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Michigan's Cesar Ruiz: 'I was really born to play center'". MLive.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  8. ^ "U-M film study: Cesar Ruiz learns on the fly". Detroit Free Press. February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  9. ^ Shaw, Zach (August 7, 2019). "Michigan's most important players: No. 7 Cesar Ruiz". 247Sports.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  10. ^ "Michigan football's Cesar Ruiz, Sean McKeon on watch lists". Detroit Free Press. July 19, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  11. ^ Henschke, Josh (July 19, 2019). "LOOK: Cesar Ruiz named to Rimington Trophy watch list". 247Sports.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  12. ^ McCann, Aaron (January 6, 2020). "Michigan's Cesar Ruiz to skip senior season, enter NFL draft". MLive.com. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Michigan's Cesar Ruiz to decide on future after Citrus Bowl". Detroit Free Press. December 28, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  14. ^ "Michigan center Cesar Ruiz entering NFL draft". ESPN.com. January 3, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  15. ^ Hellman, Sam (February 13, 2020). "Mel Kiper: Don't sleep on Michigan's Cesar Ruiz". 247Sports.com. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  16. ^ "Cesar Ruiz Combine Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  17. ^ Spath, Michael (April 23, 2020). "Cesar Ruiz Is Off The Board: Goes Round 1". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  18. ^ Mocklin, Anthony (September 24, 2020). "New Orleans Saints rookie roundup: Week 2 at the Las Vegas Raiders". CanalStreetChronicles.com. SB Nation. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  19. ^ DeShazier, John (September 16, 2021). "Offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz fluidly moved from guard to center during New Orleans Saints' opener". NewOrleansSaints.com. Retrieved December 6, 2021.