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Home > Blogs > Official Husker Locker Blog > 30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 25

Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 May 06

30/1980 BEST PLAYERS: No. 25


By HuskerLocker

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Welcome to Husker Locker’s “30 Best Players since 1980” portion of the Summer 30 series. Check throughout May to see our updated rankings; the previous rankings will be housed at the bottom of this blog post.

Like or dislike our pick? Comment on it below.

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Remember, too, to weigh in on the Best Individual Performances and Best Games since 1980. Also stay tuned for our ranking of every team, 1980-2009, at the end of the series!

No. 25 Barrett Ruud (2001-2004)

Before Suuuh there was Ruuud. The record holder for career tackles (432) and tackles in a season (149), Ruud was one of those rare Huskers who played all four seasons at NU, and played extensively, starting for his last three campaigns. He suffered through two of the Huskers’ tougher years - a 7-7 campaign in 2002 and a 5-6 season in 2004 - but bloomed under a single year of coaching from Bo Pelini in 2003, finishing with 149 tackles and 14 tackles for loss.

Smart, rangy and tough, Ruud's best game came in 2003 vs. Texas A&M, when he returned a pass for a touchdown, caused a fumble, notched a sack and finished with ten tackles. Always consistent, he never missed a game in his time at Nebraska. He’s now a top-flight linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Check Out the Entire List!

Honorable Mention, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26

Tags: 30 best players since 1980, barrett ruud

Comments (3)

Profile image for Sam1972

Solid player, but in all fairness should not be on this list. So many other great defenders to choose from, many who made All-America teams, like Derrie Nelson, Jimmy Williams, Ed Stewart (All American and Butkus finalist), Terrell Farley, Jim Skow, among others, and even very arguably Demorrio Williams. Frankly, when one looks at how dominating the 1980 defense was, at least one player off that unit should be on this list.

– Jul 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Profile image for brndnpower

He was def a legacy. Just a little slow for my liking.

– May 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Profile image for HuskerBoPower

Ruud certainly had the stats, and was a solid LB. Great family lineage as well. But I always felt that he was usually in more of a reactive rather than proactive role. It seemed, to me, that many of his tackles were the result of other players not getting their job done and Ruud cleaning up the mess. He may have had a lot of tackles, but often it seemed as though the opposing team had already gotten the yards it needed by the time Ruud got there. He was a bright spot in an otherwise generally down time period for the blackshirts. I often wonder how much better he would have been had he been coached by Pelini or McBride for the duration of his NU career and been able to flourish with equal coaching for the players around him. Ruuuuuuuudd.

– May 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm

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