Future Husker, Bo Ruud

From a legacy that spans almost a hundred years back, the Ruud family is as synonymous with the Huskers as peanut butter is with jelly. From great grandfather, Clarence Swanson who played for the Huskers from 1918 to 1921 to young Barrett Ruud, who is in his sophomore year at NU, you can't find a family line that exists at Nebraska with such longevity as the Ruuds. Bo the younger brother of Barrett is set to continue that tradition.

A lineage so immense in it's length is daunting to even the most average fan. Apprx. ten years short of a century worth of Husker football that have included the Ruud name scattered therein. It's as much a part of the fan's life as it would seem it is for the family itself, but how can we the average spectator feel what it must be like for Bo Ruud as he knows that in just a year's time, he will be extending that chain another link in time.

For Bo Ruud though, he doesn't look at it as continuing a legacy, bearing the weight of an impressive tradition or even burdening the success of his sibling, father, grandfather and uncles. He chose NU simply because it was where he wanted to go. "I grew up around it, it's close and I have always wanted to go there."

From Bo's tone, you would think this is as casual a decision as crossing the street. He treats it as normal as you might look at deciding on over easy or scrambled in the morning. He's not emotionally moved, not overwhelmed by the pressure. It's another step in a line that has taken this step many times before. "It's one of those things, nobody really says anything about it", Bo stated.

Like his father, Bo will have a brother playing at NU at the same time he does. Barrett is going into his sophomore year for the Huskers and will no doubt be a prime source of motivation for his brother. If you can imagine what a sibling rivalry can do for a person's motivation to achieve, you can perhaps grasp somewhat of Bo might feel knowing he will be on the same field with Barrett, possibly at the same time. Bo might feel it, but he won't say it. Not in so many words. "We (Barrett and I) joke about our numbers and stuff, but we do that all the time." Bo does credit Barrett though with being a constant source of motivation. "Playing with him and watching him, it makes me want to play and makes me want to do better."

Whether it's watching his brother play or listening about the exploits of the rest of Bo's impressive lineage, one thing seems to be constant in what the stories portray, intensity. A balls to the wall, almost maniacal way of playing that send the opponents reeling and the fans gaping in surprise. It''s how they do it. It's how it's been done since the Ruud name appeared on a football field. Leave it out on the field, never let up and make sure there is no question as to who wanted it more. "We take football pretty seriously when we play." Seriously? That could be considered a vast understatement. The answer to the question of what goes through his mind when he has an opportunity at an open-field hit might better illustrate just what he's thinking. "I just think that this is the time you have to lay into him." Ruud stated. "You have to ring him, give him a drop shot and knock him out."

With a year left at Lincoln Southeast, Bo''s intensity will not be preoccupied in thought as to the future within the confines of Memorial, rather it will be centered on a season yet to be at Lincoln South East. Bo doesn't live one season at a time or even one game. It's one play after the other. "I like making plays. When you make a good play or tackle, that's when you are living." With the successes though, there the inevitable failures and if Bo admits to any one downside, it's that he is his own worst critic. "I usually just play, but when I look back, I get real frustrated with mistakes I make on the field."

Ok, you can sum Bo Ruud up in a myriad of terms such as warrior, fighter, a player or throw in a few adjectives like, intense, fiery and smart. You can also add to that his measurables of 6'3", 210 lbs, his 4.6 40 and performance index score at a Nebraska camp this summer of 2408 which is just sick and if the drool of the average Husker fan isn't foaming down the chin, you need to check your pulse. Bo Ruud's numbers already voice an argument that he will be a success, but the tradition of family members there then and now almost cement it. For Bo, it's simply taking another step that has been familiar to his family for generations. For Husker fans, it will be the joy at seeing one of the longest family legacies in Husker history step on the field, happy and wondering, who might the next Ruud in Red be.

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