2003 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week (Texas A&M)
Nebraska Season Record for Tackles (149 in 2003)
2002 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
2001 Second-Team Freshman All-American (The Sporting News)
Four-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
Two-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll (2002, 2004)
2004 (Senior) Barrett Ruud (pronounced RUDE) was the anchor for the Blackshirt defense and one of the most successful linebackers in Nebraska history. He served as a three-year starter at middle linebacker after seeing action in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2001. During his four-year Husker career, Ruud amassed an NU-record 432 total tackles.
Along with his success on the field, Ruud was a three-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection and earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Nebraska in May 2005.
The Lincoln, Neb., native ended his career with an outstanding 2004 senior campaign. Ruud earned third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press and was a consensus first-team All-Big 12 selection. He led the Blackshirt defense in total tackles for the second straight year with 143, while his 18 tackles for loss also paced NU. He broke former teammate Demorrio Williams’ 2003 Husker record by recording 89 solo stops. Ruud notched a personal-best three sacks and was named Nebraska’s Defensive MVP for 2004.
One of four Huskers voted as a team captain in 2004, Ruud set a single-game high with 19 tackles at Kansas State, while his 16 solo stops against the Wildcats broke Clete Pillen’s 1976 school record of 15. He shattered Jerry Murtagh’s (1968-70) previous career standard of 342 tackles at Texas Tech, while he finished his career No. 2 to Grant Wistrom on NU’s all-time tackles-for-loss chart. Despite playing in two fewer games than the previous season, Ruud nearly matched his own single-season Husker record of 149 tackles, which he set in 2003.
Ruud’s senior campaign came on the heels of his record-breaking junior season of 2003. Along with setting the program’s single-season tackles record, he reached double figures in tackles nine times, including seven of the season's final eight games. Ruud recorded 14 or more tackles in each of the final four regular-season contests, including a then-career-high 17 stops at Texas and 16 in NU's victory at Colorado. Ruud finished the season tied for seventh nationally in total tackles.
In addition to his 149 total tackles, Ruud finished second on the team to Demorrio Williams in tackles for loss (14-39) and quarterback hurries (11), and ranked third on the team in sacks (2.5-21). He also forced a team-high four fumbles, and recovered three others, while scoring his only two career touchdowns.
A business management major, Ruud earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in May of 2005.
2003 (Junior) Ruud started all 13 games at middle linebacker as a junior and made a school-record 149 tackles, including 78 unassisted stops. He recorded double figures in tackles nine times, including seven of the season's final eight games. Ruud recorded 14 or more tackles in each of the final four regular-season contests, including a career-high 17 stops at Texas and 16 in NU's victory at Colorado. Ruud finished the season tied for seventh nationally in total tackles.
In addition to his 149 total tackles, Ruud finished second on the team to Demorrio Williams in tackles for loss (14-39) and quarterback hurries (11), and ranked third on the team in sacks (2.5-21). He also forced a team-high four fumbles, and recovered three others, including a 15-yard return for a touchdown in NU's 17-7 season-opening win over No. 24 Oklahoma State.
An agile player for his position, Ruud was strong in pass coverage. He intercepted a pass against Texas A&M and returned the pick 27 yards for his second touchdown of the season, and also broke up five passes. The interception for a touchdown against A&M was part of Nebraska's school-record eight takeaways in the 48-12 rout. Ruud also had 10 tackles, a sack and a fumble caused in the contest and was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. He was a key figure in a Husker defense that ranked in the top 15 nationally in four statistical categories, including 11th in total defense, first in pass efficiency defense and second in scoring defense. The Blackshirts also finished second nationally in takeaways with 47, pacing NU to a nation-best +1.77 turnover margin.
2003 Game-by-Game: Oklahoma State–Ruud made seven tackles, including a tackle for loss. He also scooped up a third-quarter fumble by Tatum Bell and returned it 15 yards for a score to give NU a 10-7 lead en route to a 17-7 win.
Utah State–Ruud made 11 stops, forced a fumble and broke up a pair of passes.
Penn State–Ruud’s fumble recovery midway through the fourth quarter stopped a PSU drive, and Nebraska capitalized with a field goal for an 18-10 lead. Ruud also had a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry to go along with eight tackles.
Southern Miss–Ruud made 10 tackles in a 38-14 victory. He also recovered a third-quarter fumble, and Nebraska converted the miscue into a touchdown. The fumble recovery was his third of the season, tying the previous season record for fumble recoveries by a linebacker, ironically held by his father.
Troy State–Ruud made eight tackles, including a career-high 1.5 sacks for 12 yards, caused a fumble and had two hurries in Nebraska’s 30-0 shutout. Ruud had two tackles for loss, starting a streak of nine straight games with at least one tackle for loss.
Missouri–Ruud posted 12 tackles, starting a streak of seven straight double-figure tackle games. He added two tackles for loss and a career-high three hurries.
Texas A&M–Ruud had a complete game with a team-high 10 tackles, a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown, a fumble caused, a sack and a pair of tackles for loss. His effort earned Ruud Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors. Ruud also passed his father, Tom, on the Nebraska career tackle list in the win.
Iowa State–Ruud tied his then-career high with 12 tackles in Nebraska's second shutout in four games (28-0). He added a tackle for loss and a hurry.
Texas–Ruud made a career-high 17 tackles in a 31-7 loss, his fourth straight game with 10 or more tackles. He added two tackles for three yards lost.
Kansas–Ruud continued his torrid play with 14 tackles, including 10 solo stops. He also forced his fourth fumble of the season and had a hurry in a 24-3 victory.
Kansas State–Ruud again easily reached double figures in tackles with 15 stops, including nine solos. He also had two quarterback hurries and a tackle for loss.
Colorado–Ruud closed the regular season with 16 tackles in NU's 31-22 victory over the Buffaloes. Ruud had a career-best 12 unassisted stops and added a tackle for two yards lost, while moving into second on the single-season tackle list.
Michigan State–Ruud had nine tackles as the Nebraska defense dominated Michigan State, holding the Spartans to just 179 yards of total offense in a 17-3 win. His second tackle allowed him to set a school season tackle record.
2002 (Sophomore) Ruud started all 14 games at Mike linebacker, and had 91 tackles (36 solo), one off the team lead of Demorrio Williams. Ruud had 12 tackles for loss, and added two sacks and four PBU on the year. His 13 quarterback hurries ranked third on the team and his two fumbles caused tied for the team lead.
Ruud had six games with eight or more tackles, beginning with an eight-tackle outing against Arizona State, when he added a pair of TFL. Ruud broke his left hand early in the first quarter vs. Troy State, but returned to action in the contest. Despite playing with a cast the following week against Utah State, Ruud had four tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a fumble caused and two quarterback hurries. He played the next several games with a cast on his hand, but still compiled impressive statistics before battling a leg injury late in the year.
Ruud had eight tackles and a pair of pass breakups against McNeese State, then produced his best play of 2002 in the final five games. He posted a season-high 12 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack against Texas, then finished the season with nine stops and two tackles for loss at Kansas State, followed by a 10-tackle effort against Colorado, when he forced a fumble. He had nine tackles in the Independence Bowl against Ole Miss.
2001 (Freshman) Ruud played in every game as a true freshman and made 49 tackles, the most among non-starters. His tackle total included 18 solos, six tackles for loss, half a sack and one quarterback hurry. His play earned him recognition from The Sporting News, which tabbed him as a second-team freshman All-American. Ruud was one of three true freshmen to see action in 2001, joining Philip Bland and Mike Stuntz.
Ruud had seven games with four or more tackles, with a season-high 10 against Troy State. He had five tackles in his first collegiate game against TCU, before his Troy State outing that included four solo stops, keying an NU defense that held the Trojans to minus-25 yards rushing. He had seven tackles against Rice, including a season-high two tackles for loss. He had four tackles each against Iowa State and Baylor, before making five tackles each against No. 2 Oklahoma and Kansas. He played in the 2002 Rose Bowl, but did not have a tackle.
Before Nebraska (Southeast HS) Ruud played I-back and linebacker for Lincoln Southeast. A four-year letterman, he helped Chuck Mizerski’s teams to a 48-2 record, and four state playoff appearances. The Knights won Class A state titles in 1997, 1998 and 2000. Ruud was a two-time All-Nebraska honoree by the Omaha World-Herald and a two-time super-state pick by the Lincoln Journal Star. The World-Herald named him honorary captain of the offense, while the Journal Star named him the offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year and prep athlete of the year. He earned All-America honors as a linebacker from PrepStar and Student Sports.
Personal The son of Tom and Jaime Ruud, Barrett was born on May 20, 1983. Barrett earned his bachelor's degree in May of 2005, after majoring in business management. He assisted with the FFA Youth Leadership Conference in 2001 and has been a volunteer speaker during American Education Week. No stranger to Nebraska football, Ruud follows his father, Tom (1972-73-74), two uncles (Bob Martin, 1973-74-75; and John Ruud, 1978-79) and his great-grandfather Clarence Swanson (1918-19-20-21) to the Husker gridiron. Tom Ruud was an All-Big Eight linebacker for the Huskers and earned academic all-conference honors two years. He was a first-round draft pick in 1975 by Buffalo and played three years for the Bills (1975-76-77) and two years for the Cincinnati Bengals (1978-79).
Ruud's Career Statistics
2002 Rose Bowl vs. Miami: Tackles, none 2002 Independence Bowl vs. Ole Miss: Tackles, 1 UT, 8 AT, 9 TT 2003 Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan State: Tackles, 4 UT, 5 AT, 9 TT
Single-Game Bests Tackles-19 at Kansas State, 2004 Solo Tackles-16 at Kansas State, 2004 Tackles For Loss-4 vs. Missouri, 2004 Sacks-1.5 vs. Troy State, 2003 QB Hurries-3 at Missouri, 2003
Touchdowns- 15-yard fumble return vs. Oklahoma State, 2003 27-yard INT return vs. Texas A&M, 2003
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