Ruffer graduated in May with a 3.93 GPA in Economics and is currently enrolled in the graduate studies program. In 2010, he was selected as an ESPN first-team Academic All-American and was named the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year for the football team.
Prior to arriving at Notre Dame as a student in 2008, Ruffer had never played football. He was a member of his high-school golf team and initially was not accepted to Notre Dame. Ruffer enrolled at William and Mary in 2007, but his perseverance and persistence for attending Notre Dame continued during his freshman year in college. He applied to transfer to Notre Dame and was accepted that year. Upon his arrival in South Bend, Ruffer played intramural football for his dorm team as a wide receiver and kicker. Word quickly spread around campus that the kicker for the Siegfried Hall team was making field goals from 40 and 50 yards. He was invited to try out for the varsity team at Notre Dame midway through the 2008 season and made the team as a walk-on player following his audition.
Ruffer has been very active in the Notre Dame and South Bend community over the past few years. This past June, he volunteered at the Center for Homeless, where he interacted with children at that shelter. He played games with the kids, read with them and served as a positive role model. Ruffer has participated in an event the past few years that brings local kids onto the Notre Dame campus to participate in fine-arts activities with the football team. Also, in each of the last two Decembers, he has participated in a holiday party for kids that are in the pediatric oncology unit at a local hospital.
As a junior, Ruffer was selected as one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the nation’s top kicker. Ruffer made the first 23 field goal attempts of his career, the longest streak in school history as well as the nation’s leading streak at the time. Entering 2011, he leads all active players in career field-goal percentage. Ruffer made all five kicks he attempted in 2009 and the first 18 he attempted in 2010. His only miss came on his final attempt of the season in Notre Dame’s bowl game. Despite missing his first career field goal in the bowl game, Ruffer was still named the Most Valuable Special Teams Player at the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Ruffer is a 9 for 9 on field goals longer than 40 yards.