Ruben starting to make strides

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The first time wide receiver Teddy Ruben ever heard about Troy was when he played video games against his older brothers. Now, Ruben is in his senior year in Troy and making a big impact.

After a stellar performance in Troy’s 44-16 win over Charleston Southern Saturday night Ruben was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Student Athlete of the Week. Ruben scored on two receptions in the first two possessions of the game and capped the evening with a fourth quarter, 64-yard put return for a touchdown.

It was Troy’s first punt return for a touchdown since Jerrel Jernigan had a return during the 2010 season.

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“It definitely felt great,” Ruben said. “I am very honored to be the special teams student athlete of the week. I’m just really happy about it.”

The path that led Ruben to Troy University was paved with achievements and success every step of the way. In his senior year at Saguaro (Arizona) High School, Ruben was presented the Ed Doherty award, given to the top Arizona high school senior football player.

Ruben attended Scottsdale Community College where he was a member of the fighting Artichoke football team. While at Scottsdale, Ruben was named to the NJCA All-American first team as a kickoff return specialist.

After spending two years in Arizona, Ruben signed to play football at Troy, where coaches hoped he would be able to contribute as a punt and kick off returner.

After starting every game last year as a receiver, Ruben also saw some time returning kicks and punts, sharing the role with Chandler Worthy. But in his opinion, Ruben didn’t take advantage of the opportunity until Saturday night.

“I feel like now people can be like ‘now we know why he is here’ rather than last year when Chandler took many of the kicks,” Ruben said. “I didn’t have many opportunities returning punts, but I think it’s about time that I make my mark for what I was recruited for.”

Ruben credits his success to all the experience he received while playing football in Arizona.

“There was great competition in Arizona. We played teams like Arizona Western who was always one of the top ranked teams in the nation,” Ruben said. “They have a bunch of bounce backs from the SEC and ACC conferences. To be honest the transition from JUCO to Division I wasn’t different for me. The speed changed a little bit, but it wasn’t anything drastic.”

Ruben didn’t just have to make an adjustment on the field, but off the field as well. The senior receiver had to get acclimated to Troy after leaving a city like Scottsdale.

“It’s way different. I think we had about 200,000 people in Scottsdale alone,” Ruben said. “Coming to Troy, it is a lot smaller for sure but it’s a good fit for me. I really enjoy it out here.

Ruben said his ultimate goal in Troy is to win.

“My goal is to win the Sun Belt of course, make it to a bowl game and whatever comes with it,” Ruben said. “Statistically, I’m not really worried about that. As long as we are winning as a team, that’s OK with me.”