Ruud’s 216 career tackles rank 22nd on the Nebraska career chart, and he had 10 games with eight or more tackles. He finished with six career fumbles caused, four fumble recoveries and five interceptions. He returned three of his five interceptions for touchdowns, including two memorable touchdowns in back-to-back weeks in 2007.
A four-year letterman, Ruud lined up as the WILL linebacker for his first three years, before switching to the SAM spot as a senior. He played in and started 10 games, missing the Texas and Kansas games because of injury. He finished the year tied for fifth on the team with 54 tackles, including 28 solo stops. He also added four tackles for loss and caused a pair of fumbles.
Ruud had a tackle for loss in each of NU’s first three games, then made six tackles, and returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown to ignite the comeback win over Ball State. A week later, Ruud made 14 tackles in the win over Iowa State and gave Nebraska a comfortable lead with a 93-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter. The return was the third-longest in school history and the longest ever by a Husker linebacker.
The Lincoln native suffered a knee injury early in the game against Texas A&M, which also forced him to the sideline for the next two games. He returned for the season’s final two games and capped his career with eight tackles at Colorado. Despite missing most of three games, Ruud was an honorable-mention All-Big 12 choice.
Ruud was also the 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.
Ruud started 13 games at WILL linebacker in 2006, and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors from the league coaches. He tied for fourth on the team with 65 tackles and made seven tackles for loss helping Nebraska rank among the Big 12 leaders in scoring defense and rushing defense. Ruud also had two sacks, two interceptions, a team-high three forced fumbles and also recovered a pair of fumbles.
Ruud stepped into a starting role in week two of his sophomore season and went on to earn honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors. He made 80 tackles and tied for third on the team with 14 tackles for loss.
A business administration major, Ruud was a two-time second-team academic All-Big 12 selection and a four-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He was one of 20 Huskers to graduate in December of 2007.
Ruud did not make a tackle in the opener, but collected at least one stop in each of the final 13 contests. He had seven efforts with at least five tackles, including a season-high nine in road matchups against USC and Iowa State. Each of his seven tackles for loss came in a six-week span between the Kansas and Missouri games.
Ruud 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 against 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.
Ruud had six tackles at Texas A&M to help the Huskers clinch the Big 12 North Division title. In the Big 12 title game against Oklahoma, Ruud had two tackles and a pass breakup. He also had a quarterback hurry in the second quarter that forced an interception and set up NU’s lone score of the game.
In the Cotton Bowl against Auburn, Ruud made three tackles as Nebraska limited Auburn to just 178 total yards. He also recovered his second fumble of the season.
He went on to start the final 10 games of the regular season before suffering a broken arm during pre-Alamo Bowl practice in December. Ruud finished the year with 80 total tackles to rank third on the team and was tied for third on the squad with 14 tackles for loss totaling 44 yards. He also led the team with two fumble recoveries, including a 46-yard fumble return against Texas Tech. He added 10 quarterback hurries and six pass breakups. Ruud’s breakout performance earned him honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press.
Ruud had at least five tackles in 10 of 11 games , including a pair of double-figure tackle efforts. He 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 in Lincoln.
His first double-figure tackle performance came at Missouri, where he recorded 12 tackles, with seven solo stops and two tackles for loss. After five-tackle efforts against Oklahoma and Kansas, Ruud exploded for a career-best 15 tackles, including 10 solo stops, against Kansas State. Ruud also made a career-best five tackles for loss against 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 Nebraska’s next game, Ruud continued his torrid play with six solo tackles, including three tackles for loss and an eight-yard sack, in the Huskers’ 30-3 rout at Colorado.
2004 (Redshirt Freshman)
Before Nebraska (Lincoln Southeast HS)
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. Ruud 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 touchdowns. Ruud 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 earned academic all-state honors, and was a National Honor Society member.
Ruud’s 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 third 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.
Ruud's Career Statistics
Interceptions - 5-208-3 TD total; 1-27 (TD) vs. Maine, 2006; 1-14 vs. Louisiana Tech, 1-40 vs. Missouri; 2006; 1-34 (TD) vs. Ball State, 2007; 1-93 (TD) vs. Iowa State, 2007