By Evan Mohl

Killeen Daily Herald

Tyler Ruiz short stature hasn't stopped others from noticing the speedster's soccer skills.

The Bulldawgs centerback earned Cove's lone 12-5A All-District First-Team selection this past year. Now, he'll go on to play at the college level. Ruiz has accepted an offer to play at Ranger College this fall. A signing will be held at a date and time to be determined.

"Tyler's short, but nothing else of his game is," Cove coach John Jackson said. "He is a speedy guy that plays with a great sense of the game. He's the captain of our defense and he's so comfortable."

Jackson added that Ruiz should play right away at Ranger. And he has the potential to move on to a four-year institution after improving and gaining exposure.

"He certainly has the talent," Jackson said. "Tyler just needs to get some more exposure and prove he can play at that level and I don't think he'll have a problem moving on."

Ruiz is unlike most centerbacks. He's short while most at the position are tall so they can get to balls in the air. Ruiz, however, makes up for his height with his incredible speed. The defender will also have to improve his second touch. He can control the ball well, but when his offensive moves can be erratic.

"Sometimes Tyler just gets so excited that his head moves faster than his feet," Jackson said. "If he can improve that, he'll be a dangerous player with his speed."

Ruiz also made the 16-4A All-District team as a junior. He was a surprise selection as he did not make the varsity team at the beginning of the season. After a couple of injuries and personnel moves, Ruiz played his way on the team and eventually onto the all-district team.

"He's kind of a sneaky player," Jackson said. "He doesn't pop up during the game a lot, but when you review the film, you see how much he's actually done. It's quite amazing."

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