Bo Ruud: Scouting the Latest Brown

There's very little NFL film on LB Bo Ruud. Dave-Te Thomas comes to the rescue with an in-depth scouting report built around Ruud's time in Nebraska. If you want to know what the Browns newest LB brings to the table, start here...


Outside Linebacker

Nebraska University Cornhuskers



Lincoln, Nebraska

Southeast High School


The three-year starter is part of Nebraska's "royal family," as he became the sixth member of the Ruud clan to play football for the Huskers. Along with his brother and father, they hold the rare distinction of all ranking in the top 30 career tacklers in school annals. Bo finished with 216 tackles, 22nd on the NU career-record list, which his brother, Barrett, resides as the record-holder with 432 hits (2001-04). Their father, Tom, is 26th all-time with 202 tackles (1972074).

Bo started in each of his last three seasons at Nebraska, taking over strong-side outside linebacker duties as a senior after playing on the weak-side his first three seasons. His brother, Barrett, was an All-American and three-time All-Big Twelve Conference middle linebacker and presently starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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).

Also, Bo's two uncles (Bob Martin, 1973-74-75; and John Ruud, 1978-79) and his great-grandfather Clarence Swanson (1918-19-20-21) all competed on the Husker gridiron.

Like his brother before him, Rudd was a standout at Lincoln Southeast High School, and was Nebraska's earliest ever commitment, pledging his intention in June of 2001, 20 months before 2003 signing day. He helped the Knights to two Class A state titles. He was a two-way star, playing running back and linebacker. He rushed for 1,385 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught four passes for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Ruud scored four touchdowns in a state semifinal win over Kearney and scored the Knights' only touchdown in a 7-6 title game victory over Millard North. He had 70 total tackles, including 51 solo stops, as a senior. He was named the honorary captain of the Lincoln Journal Star's Super-State team and was a first-team pick as a running back. The Omaha World-Herald named him to its All-Nebraska team as a linebacker and made him the honorary captain on the defense.

Ruud made 49 tackles as a junior, and rushed for nearly 450 yards and scored six touch-downs. He also starred on Southeast's basketball team, which finished as the 2003 Class A state runner-up. He was a two-time honorable-mention All-State pick and also earned Academic All-State honors. In addition, he was a National Honor Society member.

Ruud red-shirted at Nebraska in 2003, but was a part of the travel squad. He played in eleven games as a reserve weak-side linebacker in 2004, posting 17 tackles (12 solos) with a pair of pressures.

As a sophomore, he started ten of eleven games at weak-side line-backer, taking over that spot after Steve Octavien was injured in the season opener. Ruud missed the Alamo Bowl when he suffered a broken arm in practice, finishing the year with 80 tackles (41 solos), 2.5 sacks and 14 stops for losses. Ruud added ten pressures, six pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble, earning All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention.

Ruud was chosen All-Big Twelve first-team as a junior in 2006, starting thirteen games. The weak-side linebacker delivered 65 tackles (36 solos), two sacks, seven stops for losses and four pressures. He picked off two passes, deflected four others and caused three fumbles, recovering two of them.

The team's Guy Chamberlain Award winner received All-Big Twelve honorable mention as a senior. He missed two games after suffering a knee sprain on the first play of the Texas A&M clash, but still finished with 54 tackles (28 solos). Both of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns, as he also knocked down three other throws and caused a pair of fumbles.

In 46 games at Nebraska, Ruud started 33 contests. He registered 216 tackles (117 solos) with 4.5 sacks for minus 43 yards, 25 stops for losses of 84 yards and sixteen quarterback pressures. He caused six fumbles and recovered two others, returning two for a total of 53 yards. He deflected thirteen passes and intercepted five others for 208 yards in returns, including three touchdowns.


POSITIVES: Has a solidly-built frame with proportioned, lean and defined upper and lower body muscles, broad chest and room to carry at least another ten pounds of bulk to help his body mature at strong-side linebacker...Quick to key and diagnose the play and is active vs. the run, showing the functional strength to take on blockers and the hand usage to shed blocks...Uses his hands effectively to control and reroute tight ends and short area receivers...Instinctive player with good vision and shows good tackling form, using his hands effectively to take on, shed blocks and make the play...Has a decent change of direction, showing a nice spring in his step and while not quick-twitched, he does have enough of a lateral flow to the ball...Opens his hips properly and is fluid in his pass drops, staying low in his turn-&-go action...Doesn't always play with leverage to contain vs. plays directed at him, but has enough chase speed to pursue plays away from his territory, as he can sift through trash quickly...Shows the initial first step as a blitzer to generate decent backside pursuit, but needs to improve his strength to be more effective with his inside gap responsibilities...Stays close to the tight end and runs with acceleration in man coverage...Not a natural mover in pass coverage with sudden change-of-direction, but can plant and drive cleanly in transition and close on plays in front of him...His vision and ball awareness skills lets him get a good jump on the ball, doing a decent job breaking down in space...Takes good angles shortening his path to the ball carrier and while he might bite the runner's ankles at times, he has the hand strength to hold on until help arrives...Has good hip snap and arm extension, timing his leaps well to compete for jump balls... Catches the ball cleanly and runs with a good stride on interception returns...More of a blitzer than a pass rusher, but does have a nice spin move to slip off blocks.

NEGATIVES: Has good straight-line quickness, but struggles to redirect, as there appears to be hip stiffness when attempting to change directions...Will lose leverage on inside run plays when he leads with the wrong shoulder...His lack of bulk causes him to get engulfed by the larger blockers and while he needs to add more weight, it could impact his timed speed...Needs to use his hands better when attempting to chase and drag down the ball carriers (can grab, but lacks the strength to jerk to the ground, needing help to complete the play)...Good wrap-up tackler, but needs to play under control more, as he tends to over pursue...Gets a little out of control in his backside pursuit, causing him to miss some tackles behind the line of scrimmage...Moves well when covering, but needs to show better sideline range, as he has a tough time weeding through traffic...Can control the tight end and mirror his moves in the short area, but was rarely asked to drop back in zone coverage until shifting to the strong-side as a senior...Flashes a good spin move, but his swim moves are negated by his short-arm approach (needs to extend his arms better to stave off blockers trying to latch on to his jersey)...Has good speed to mirror short area receivers, but is sluggish redirecting and lacks the second gear to trail on deep routes... Might still be nursing a knee injury he suffered late in the year.

COMPARES TO: MATT STEWART-ex-Cleveland...Ruud has potential to contribute to a roster, due to his ability to play both outside linebacker positions, but like Stewart, he is best served in a reserve role. He is not explosive enough to be a pass rusher from the weak-side and lacks the bulk and brute strength to generate punishing tackles on the strong-side. He comes from a family deep in football tradition, but based on not being invited to any bowl games or the NFL Combine, he is more of the family's "runt of the litter" who needs to bulk up and have a great training camp in order to secure a roster spot, but he is capable of contributing.


Ruud closed out his career ranked 22nd on the school's career-record list with 216 tackles...His brother, Barrett, is Nebraska's all-time tackle leader with 432 hits (2001-04) and the brothers joined their father, Tom, on the school's career-tackle leader board, as Tom's 202 tackles (1972-74) rank 26th all-time...Returned three interceptions for touch-downs, tying the school career-record that was first set by Dave Mason (1969-71) and matched by Joe Walker (1997-2000)...His 208 yards gained on interception returns are the most by a Husker in a career since Ralph Brown set the Nebraska record with 253 yards on eleven pass thefts (1996-99)...His 93-yard interception vs. Iowa State in 2007 was the third-longest return in school history, topped by the 95-yard runbacks by both Bill Kosch (vs. Texas A&M, 1971) and Willie Greenlaw (vs. Colorado, 1955).


Recipient of Nebraska's Guy Chamberlin Trophy at the conclusion of the season, which is presented to the Husker senior who has shown by the play and contributions to the betterment of the University of Nebraska football squad that he has the qualities and dedication of Guy Chamberlin to the Cornhusker tradition. Bo's older brother, Barrett, also won the team award in 2004, while their uncle, Bob Martin, claimed the honor in 1975... Earned Academic All-Big Twelve Conference second-team recognition and was an All-Big Twelve honorable mention...Started and played in ten games at strong-side outside line-backer, missing all of the Texas and Kansas contests and most of the Texas A&M and Kansas State clashes with a left knee sprain suffered on the first play vs. A&M...Finished with 54 tackles (28 solos), adding four stops for losses of 9 yards...Caused two fumbles and deflected three passes...Had two interceptions for 127 yards in returns and two scores.


Made four hits with a stop for a loss vs. Wake Forest...Added six tackles (3 solos), as he caused a fumble while stopping tailback Chauncey Washington for a 6-yard loss vs. Southern California...Intercepted a pass that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown and posted six tackles (4 solos) vs. Ball State...Followed with a 93-yard interception return for a score, as he registered a season-high fourteen tackles (6 solos) and caused a fumble vs. Iowa State...Posted ten tackles (5 solos) and a stop behind the line of scrimmage in the Missouri contest...Had four tackles vs. Kansas State after missing close to a month of action with a knee injury...Closed out his career with eight tackles (6 solos) and a pass deflection vs. Colorado.


First-team All-Big Twelve Conference pick by the league's coaches...Made the Big Twelve Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll for both the spring and fall semesters...Named Big Twelve Player of the Week vs. Missouri...Started thirteen games at weak-side outside line-backer, recording 65 tackles (36 solos) with two sacks for minus 23 yards, seven stops for losses of 31 yards and four pressures...Picked off two passes for 54 yards in returns and broke up four other throws...Recovered two fumbles, returning one 7 yards, as he also caused three fumbles.


Had seven efforts with at least five tackles, including a season-high nine in road match-ups vs. USC and Iowa State. Each of his seven tackles for loss came in a six-week span between the Kansas and Missouri games...Totaled five tackles and forced a fumble in the victory over Nicholls State, as Nebraska held the Colonels without a pass completion...At fourth-ranked USC, Ruud made four solo stops among his nine tackles as the Husker linebackers combined for 28 stops...The Blackshirts posted their first shutout in three seasons vs. Troy, with Ruud chipping in four tackles. Ruud's nine tackles at Iowa State, including a pair of tackles for loss, and the Huskers limited ISU to just 53 yards on the ground.

In Nebraska's narrow loss to No. 5 Texas, Ruud posted eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. He also forced a fumble and added a pass breakup.

Ruud posted one of Nebraska's finest individual defensive efforts of the season in an important Big 12 North win over Missouri that garnered him a second career Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week award. He made seven tackles, including five solo stops, and a 13-yard sack. Additionally, Ruud recorded an interception that he returned 40 yards while later forcing and recovering a fumble to seal the Husker win in the game's final minutes...Added six tackles at Texas A&M to help the Huskers clinch the Big Twelve North Division title...In the Big Twelve title game vs. Oklahoma, Ruud had two tackles and a pass break-up. He also had a pressure in the second quarter that forced an interception and set up NU's lone score of the game...In the Cotton Bowl vs. Auburn, he made three tackles.


Ruud began the year as the backup to Steve Octavien at weak-side outside linebacker, but that changed in the season opener when Octavien was lost for the year with a broken leg. Ruud quickly made the adjustment to the limelight, starting the next ten games before breaking his arm in practice, missing the Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan...Earned honorable mention All-Big Twelve Conference and Academic All-Big Twelve honors...Finished with a career-high 80 tackles (41 solos) that included 2.5 sacks for minus 20 yards, 14 stops for losses of 44 yards and ten QB pressures...Returned an interception 27 yards for a touch-down vs. Maine and deflected six passes...Caused a fumble and recovered another, returning one 46 yards vs. Texas Tech.


Finished the Maine contest with five tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the NU win, earning him Big Twelve Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors....Made eight tackles in Nebraska's 31-3 win over Wake Forest, then had nine stops in the Huskers' double-overtime victory over Iowa State...His first double-figure tackle performance came at Missouri, where he had 12 tackles, with seven solo stops and two tackles for loss...After five-tackle performances vs. Oklahoma and Kansas, Ruud exploded for a career-best 15 tackles, including 10 solos, vs. Kansas State, as he made a career-best five tackles for loss vs. the Wildcats, tying the Nebraska linebacker record. The 15 tackles were the most by a Husker since Barrett Ruud topped 15 tackles four times during his senior season in 2004.In Nebraska's next game, he continued his torrid play with six solo tackles, including three tackles for loss and an 8-yard sack, in the Huskers' 30-3 rout at Colorado.


Played in all eleven games and finished with 17 total tackles, including 12 solo stops, and added two quarterback pressures vs. Baylor...Had three games with a season-high three tackles, including the season opener vs. Western Illinois, along with games vs. Texas Tech and Baylor.


Ruud suited up for several games, but ultimately red-shirted in his first year.


2005-Did not play in the Alamo Bowl (12/28) vs. Michigan after suffering a broken arm in practice.

2007-Suffered a left knee sprain on the first play from scrimmage, missing the rest of the Texas A&M game (10/20) and then sat out the next two contests vs. Texas (10/27) and Kansas (11/03).


4.6 in the 40-yard dash...1.53 10-yard dash...2.61 20-yard dash...4.71 20-yard shuttle...

7.3 three-cone drill...32.5-inch vertical jump...9'10" broad jump...Bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times.


Attended Southeast (Lincoln, Neb.) High School, where he helped the Knights to two Class A state titles...Was a two-way star, playing running back and linebacker...Rushed for 1,385 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught four passes for 125 yards and a pair of scores...Had four touchdowns in a state semifinal win over Kearney and scored the Knights' only touchdown in a 7-6 title game victory over Millard North...Recorded 70 total tackles, including 51 solo stops, as a senior...Named the honorary captain of the Lincoln Journal Star's Super-State team and was a first-team pick as a running back...The Omaha World-Herald named him to its All-Nebraska team as a linebacker and made him the honorary captain on the defense...Made 49 tackles as a junior, and rushed for nearly 450 yards and scored six touchdowns...Also starred on Southeast's basketball team, which finished as the 2003 Class A state runner-up...Two-time honorable-mention All-State pick and also earned Academic All-State honors...In addition, he was a National Honor Society member.


Graduated in December, 2007 with a degree in Business Administration...Four-time member of the Big Twelve Commissioner's Honor Roll...Volunteered with local hospital visits, American Education Week and the Lincoln Midget football league...Son of Tom and the late Jaime Ruud...His family has a long history with the Husker football program. In addition to his brother Barrett's success as a Husker, Bo's father, Tom, played linebacker for the Huskers (1972-73-74), and earned All-Big Eight honors. Tom spent five seasons in the NFL with Buffalo and Cincinnati, while Barrett is entering his fourth season with Tampa Bay...Bo's uncles (Bob Martin, 1973-74-75; and John Ruud, 1978-79) and his great-grandfather Clarence Swanson (1918-19-20-21) also played for Nebraska...Bo's cousin, Jay Martin, will join the Huskers as a walk-on this fall...Born 9/02/84...Resides in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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