Just who is linebacker Barrett Ruud?


Barrett Ruud is probably best known by many New Orleans Saints fans as the guy who frustrated the offensive players while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In 11 career games against the Black and Gold, Ruud collected 72 total tackles.

The 2 2008 match ups were where he enjoyed his greatest success against the Saints, both being 10 tackle games.  Barrett Rudd is a Lincoln, Nebraska native who attended Nebraska University.  While there, he started 37 of the 50 games he played.  He also collected a school record 432 tackles, never missing a game.

As a Freshmen, he did not start, but still managed 49 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and a QB hurry.  After coming out of Lincoln Southeast High, where he was 48-2, with 3 state titles, Ruud proved that his desire for success and will to win are ingrained in him.

As a Sophomore, Ruud started all 14 Nebraska contests, with 91 total tackles and 12 for loss.  He also had an interception, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 13 QB hurries.  He also enjoyed his first bowl game experience.

As a Junior Ruud demonstrated even further his knack for sniffing out the ball carrier, as he had 149 tackles.  14 of those were behind the line of scrimmage, and he also had 2.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles with 3 recoveries, and 11 QB hurries.

His senior season was little different, with just 6 fewer tackles than the year before.  Barrett also enjoyed his best year in sacks, with 3, tackles for loss with 18, and another interception.  Finishing his career as the record holder for both single season and career tackles is certainly nothing to sneeze at, and it probably lent itself greatly to Ruud’s being drafted as high as he was.

Entering the NFL is a tough transition for many players, but Barrett Ruud showed that he had all the determination in the world after becoming the 36th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005.

After starting his career behind Shelton Quarels on the depth chart, who enjoyed his best year that year, Barrett started 5 games in 2006, and didn’t look back.  Prior to last season, he started at least 15 games a year, and never had fewer than 83 tackles.

Barrett Ruud is an incredibly hard tackler who is fundamentally sound, and it’s nice to see that even though he will probably be number 2 on the depth chart behind Curtis Lofton, he too is still young, and very well built.  With no fewer than 114 tackles in a full season, Ruud definitely has a knack for the ball.

One thing that demonstrates his great character and demeanor off the field was how he handled his mother’s death.  His mom, Jaime, died on June 30, 2006 of a massive heart attack while at the family’s lake house in Cross Lake, MN.  Facing such an emotional loss, Barrett Ruud did not cower or refuse to address his hurt.  He instead dedicated his play to his mother in the 2006 season, and says that he still plays in honor of the “greatest mother that ever was.”

When asked about her most defining characteristic, Ruud always says that it was her kindness that stood out.  Barrett, though tough, calculated, and mean on the field, prides himself on kindness off it. He even runs a football camp for 7 to 18 year-olds in the off-season, and volunteers with the American Heart Association, dedicating both efforts to his mother.

Some people say that it’s all in a name:  Ruud, pronounced “Rude,” is certainly a great football name.  His character and toughness are certainly unquestioned, and he is a tremendous add for the Saints. Fast forwarding to the start of the season, I think he will be both a leader, and a great tackler as always on the field.  Off it, I’m sure he will do his best to remain under the radar, doing his charity work in a manner so as to gain little recognition.  That’s how Barrett has been, and will continue to be – very humble off the field, incredibly hard worker on it.  This Cornhusker will be great for us, mark my words!