Ruud led Nebraska in tackles this season with 143 stops, a total that led the Big 12 Conference. He finished his career with a school-record 432 total tackles, including 50 tackles for loss.
Senior offensive guard Jake Andersen was selected as the winner of the 2004 Tom Novak Trophy, also by a vote of the media. Andersen was a two-year starter on the Husker offensive line. The Novak Trophy is presented to the senior who "best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds in the manner of Nebraska All-America center Tom Novak."
The Huskers' third senior award, the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award, was presented to fullback Steve Kriewald, a native of Scotia, Neb. The award is presented annually to the senior player selected by the Husker coaches, who best exemplifies the following qualities: good work ethic, competitiveness, leadership, forthrightness, sense of humor, pride, loyalty and love of Nebraska. Kriewald was NU's starting fullback in 2004, and had three touchdown receptions on the season.
In addition to Ruud being named the Defensive MVP, four other Husker most valuable players were announced at Saturday night's banquet. The most valuable players were selected by a vote of the Nebraska players.
Junior I-back Cory Ross was named Nebraska's Offensive MVP. Ross led the Huskers in rushing with 1,102 yards, the first 1,000-yard season by a Husker running back since 2001. The Denver native also caught 21 passes out of the backfield and scored eight touchdowns, including six by run and two on receptons.
Lincoln Southeast graduate Brandon Rigoni was chosen as the 2004 Nebraska Special Teams MVP. Rigoni made seven tackles as a key performer on Nebraska's punt and kickoff coverage units. The offensive scout team MVP was freshman quarterback Joe Ganz, a native of Palos Heights, Ill. On the defensive side, the scout team MVP was junior linebacker Andy Kadavy, a native of Seward, Neb. Kadavy also saw playing time on the Huskers' special teams units.
More than 350 people attended the Saturday night banquet, the Huskers' first team banquet in several years. The winners of the Chamberlin and Novak Trophies and the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award will also be honored as part of the Outland Trophy Banquet in Omaha on Jan. 13.