Michigan lands Cesar Ruiz, nation’s No. 1 center

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Cesar Ruiz

Michigan has landed Cesar Ruiz, among the highest-rated centers in the nation for 2017.

The 6-foot-3, 321-pound Ruiz, of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, made his announcement on Monday. Ruiz, from Camden, New Jersey, transferred to IMG, where he played his final two seasons. His best friend at Camden was Ron Johnson, currently a Michigan defensive end.

Ruiz is rated the No. 1 center in the South and No. 2 at his position nationally by Scout.com. In the 247Sports composite rankings, Ruiz is ranked the No. 1 center in the nation.

He is the No. 100 player overall in the Scout 300 for 2017.

Ruiz picked Michigan over his other finalists – Auburn, Florida and North Carolina. Michigan now has five offensive linemen in its group of 23 commitments for 2017.

Ruiz revealed his decision in a one-minute video produced by Bleacher Report.

In the 247Sports team rankings for 2017, Michigan is now fourth, trailing No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Georgia.

Landing Ruiz has kept the momentum going for Michigan, which had strong recruiting success last week despite losing out on five-star offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, who chose Georgia last Friday.

The Wolverines did land five-star receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones of Detroit Cass Tech, the No. 1 player in Michigan, who committed to Michigan last Thursday night. Peoples was the second receiver in two days to commit to the Wolverines. Four-star receiver Tarik Black, a 6-foot-4, 208-pounder from Cheshire, Connecticut, committed on Wednesday. Black and Peoples-Jones will be early-enrollees.

Michigan has a chance to make another big recruiting splash later Monday. Deron Irving-Bey, a 6-5, 282-pound four-star defensive end from Flint Southwestern Academy, is expected to reveal his decision Monday afternoon.

Southwestern coach Chane Clingman told The Detroit News earlier this season that hard work and dedication to football is what separates Irving-Bey.

“You can’t teach 6-5, 280, and that helps,” Clingman said. “He’s a kid who came in at 190 pounds and he’s grown into his body. He works hard in the classroom. He’s a kid who shows up to the weight room every day and works hard. He has great feet for a guy his size, is a joy to be around and we want the best for him.”

Irving-Bey is expected to choose Michigan or Michigan State, with Tennessee and Maryland also among the contenders.

Irving-Bey is ranked the No. 2 defensive end in the Midwest and No. 24 nationally at his position by Scout.com.