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Deshawn Ruffin will tell you if you ask him that patience has been the key to his success and it has also been something he has had to overcome.

“The toughest thing I’ve had to overcome is like the learning and the patience you have to have to play at a higher level and be able to learn. …You just have to have patience.”

Ruffin began playing football in seventh grade and a year later, he gained an opportunity that has taken him to where he is now.

“It had to be my eighth grade year, toward the end of it. The varsity defensive back coach came and talked to me. He asked me how I felt about playing varsity football my freshman year. That let me know that I had the skillset to play at a high level on varsity.”

Ruffin, now a junior at Sunnyside High School/Fresno, California, is originally from Norfolk, Virginia and moved to Fresno in seventh grade due to the fact that his mom got sick and the best course of action was for him and his brother to move to the West Coast to live with his dad. His mother, he said, is his go to in stressful moments and the person who has had a special impact on him growing up.

“That’s definitely been my mom. She always helps through things when I get nervous or anything like that. She knows exactly what to do or say.”

The 5’10, 170 pound, cornerback currently has no scholarship offers but in 2015, recorded 26 tackles (20 solo), eight pass break ups, two interceptions and one fumble recovery as his Sunnyside Wildcats went 8-4 (4-1 League) and reached the second round of the Central Section CIF Les Schwab Division II playoffs, losing to Ridgeview High School in the semifinals 56-16. See his sophomore highlights here.

Looking at his midseason junior highlights, it’s clear he is also a special teams threat on kickoffs and can show the speed he has. Matched up with wide receivers, he locks them down. If he doesn’t intercept a pass, he’ll knock the ball away and prevent his man from making a play.

“The best part of my game is [that] I know how to play a receiver depending on size, speed, stuff like that. I’m very good at studying my opponent,” he said.

Deshawn Ruffin has high interest in Michigan and has been a fan of that football program for about two years now. He has received letters from Washington, Florida State, UCLA and Washington State. Washington, Washington State and UCLA have asked him to come on unofficial game day visits.

He said that his plan is to make his commitment decision on National Signing Day in 2017.

“I’ll be looking for a place I hopefully feel comfortable in, a place that’ll make me feel that home environment you know? Also, a school that has a good fan base behind it.”

Ruffin said that he can bring to a university someone who is going to stay on the right track and strive to be great in everything he does.

“My junior season, I just want to be the most versatile player and help my team in any situation because you have the guys on the team that are so versatile that it’s hard to keep them off the field.”

Arizona Cardinals Cornerback Patrick Peterson is a guy Ruffin studies and likes because he plays fast and physical.

“You just know when someone like that is on the field, you’re going to have a long day. That’s what I would like to bring to the table as a cornerback. That fear that he puts into receivers when he’s across from them.”

Going to Sunnyside High School has been a good experience for Deshawn Ruffin and he is going to miss the people he has met at the school. What he wants to be remembered for when he leaves there is just being that guy that anyone could come to if they were going through something because he’s a very understanding person.