Edmond Memorial’s JJ Ruff – Character Counts Presented by INTEGRIS Health Edmond

By Chandler Engelbrecht

For today’s student-athletes, sometimes the biggest challenge doesn’t lie on the field, track or court but rather inside the classroom. As academic rigor intensifies, many student-athletes may find themselves overwhelmed and even exhausted.

On top of that, think about how often you hear about a student-athlete being suspended from play until his/her grades are up. It’s a problem that affects a number of student-athletes across the country— but not all of them.

Student-athletes like JJ Ruff are examples of dominance in the classroom and on the field.

Ruff, a senior, plays football and track at Edmond Memorial High School. In his spare time, you can find him practicing drums or piano. Academic wise, he holds a 4.0 GPA and received a 34 on the ACT.

“I take academics very seriously,” Ruff said. “I know no matter how far I take my athletic career that eventually it’s going to end and I’ll have to rely on where my academics got me.”

Heading into his final football season with the Bulldogs, you’ll find Ruff on the field splitting time between wide-receiver and cornerback. He says it doesn’t matter which position he’s playing, what matters is if he’s on the field or not.

“I just love to play,” he said. “It’s a ton of fun to get in the endzone, but it’s also fun to get to be the hammer and hit people. I honestly can’t pick.”

Ruff stated his main goal for this season isn’t just to lead Edmond into a bounce back season, but rather to enjoy his senior year and leave a positive impact on Edmond Memorial High School.

“I want to cherish every moment this year,” he said. “This could be my last year playing football, so I just want to help my team reach our goals and be the best we can be. I want to leave a legacy that other people will want to follow.”

When the time comes that Ruff hangs up his cleats for the final time, it’s safe to say that he’ll leave a great legacy at Edmond Memorial.