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COLUMN: Jace Ruder will be given the chance to prove himself in Denton

COLUMN: Jace Ruder will be given the chance to prove himself in Denton

COLUMN: Jace Ruder will be given the chance to prove himself in Denton
February 25
12:00 2021

North Texas football has had an interesting offseason so far. The Mean Green are currently rebuilding their organization after more than three years of winning. While they may have lost several key players to the transfer portal, North Texas has also made some big additions to their roster.

The Mean Green just recently lost quarterback Jason Bean to the transfer portal, but they may have already found his replacement. Jace Ruder, the former quarterback for the University of North Carolina, announced his decision to transfer to the University of North Texas on Feb. 2 and will be given every opportunity to prove himself in his first year in Denton. 

Jace Ruder was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school. The 6-foot-2-inch quarterback impressed scouts with his dual-threat abilities and received a plethora of Division I offers from powerhouse universities such as Pennsylvania State University, Baylor University and the University of Mississippi, Ruder committed to the University of North Carolina on June 19, 2017, and eventually enrolled at the university in January the following year.

Ruder’s time in Chapel Hill could be viewed as underwhelming by most. He redshirted his first season, playing in just one game for the Tar Heels before suffering from a broken collarbone. The following year he appeared in just two games before dealing with another season-ending injury — a broken leg.

Ruder returned healthy for the Tar Heels last March, but by that point, North Carolina already had his replacements.

He was named the third-string quarterback entering last season, where he sat behind starter Sam Howell and backup Jacolby Criswell. Although he tried to embrace his role as a leader, the redshirt sophomore ultimately decided to enter the transfer portal on Dec. 21, 2020.

This brings us to today, where Jace Ruder plans to join his new team later in the summer. The once highly touted prospect will join a crowded quarterback room that consists of Austin Aune, Kason Martin, Amani Gilmore and even North Texas’ highly regarded true freshman, Bryce Drummond.

Ruder will be given every chance to outdo the other quarterbacks in the system, and I believe he most certainly will. Despite the back-to-back season-ending injuries, I think Ruder still has the potential to be the best quarterback in the Mean Green’s system. The former 4-star prospect is a dual-threat quarterback with a strong arm and the ability to run the ball. The Mean Green rotated between gunslinger Austin Aune and scrambler Jason Bean. Jace Ruder brings both of their skill sets together and most certainly makes up for the loss of Bean.

It’s a new chapter in Denton, and a new chapter in Ruder’s career. After a rough time in North Carolina, the Kansas native has come to North Texas with a chip on his shoulder. He may have been unable to beat out star quarterback Sam Howell and backup Jacolby Criswell, but he should definitely have an easier time here in Denton. The Mean Green’s quarterback room should not be as competitive as what he had to deal with at North Carolina, and there’s no doubt in my mind he will try to take advantage of this.

Jace Ruder has three years of NCAA eligibility left in his collegiate career. While it’s still unclear if he will be granted immediate eligibility or not, we should all prepare to see Jace Ruder in a Mean Green uniform for the next three years. This could be the start of something new.

Featured Illustration by Pooja Patel

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Milo Mihaltses

Milo Mihaltses

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