2006 John Mackey National Tight End of the Week (Oct. 5)
2006 Team Metro Kansas City Player of the Year
2005 1st-Team All-Big 12 (Kansas City Star)
2005 Hon. Men. All-Big 12 (A.P., Coaches)
2005 John Mackey Tight End of the Week (Nov. 23)
2005 Team Receiver of the Year
2004 2nd-Team Freshman All-American (College Football News, Rivals.com)
2004 1st-Team Freshman All-Big 12 (The Sporting News)
2004 Team Freshman of the Year
One of the premier tight ends in the country who combines with teammate Chase Coffman to give MU arguably the top TE combination in the nation ... Has great athleticism, size, hands, and speed and is also an excellent blocker from the tight end position ... Gives Mizzou a huge mismatch over defenders matched up on him in one-on-one situations, and is as dependable as they come when he gets hands on the ball ... Will begin the 2007 season on the short list of top candidates for both All-American honors as well as the John Mackey Award, which goes annually to the nation's top tight end ... Is the most prolific pass-catching TE in Mizzou history, with his 119 career receptions, breaking the old standard of 101 catches by Andy Gibler from 1979-82, and also with his 1,341 career receiving yards, which broke Gibler's career record for yardage of 1,290 ... With 36 career games started, needs 13 more to break the standing record of 48, set by former QB Brad Smith (2002-05).
Preseason Mackey Award candidate who finished 2nd among all Big 12 TEs in receptions (53), TDs (5) and yards (511) ... Named 1st-Team All-Big 12 by league coaches, in addition to earning 2nd-Team status by the Kansas City Star ... Named the National Tight End of the Week by the Mackey Committee for his 6-catch, 66-yard, 1-TD outing in MU's 28-13 win over Colorado ... His TD was a huge play with just 11 seconds left in the first half, as he caught it in traffic and scored from 1 yard out to make it 21-6 at halftime ... Yardage total against CU pushed him over the 1,000 mark for his career, making him only the 4th TE in MU history to reach that milestone ... Closed the regular season with his best performance of the year, notching season-high totals in receptions (7) and yardage (91) against Kansas ... Included in the total was a 47-yard grab off of a flea-flicker pass from QB Chase Daniel that set up a Tiger TD in the 2nd quarter to make it 20-7 at the time ... Followed with a 6-catch, 67-yard effort against Oregon State, and he also carried the ball once for a 9-yard gain in the 4th quarter on 3rd down that extended a Tiger drive ... Caught at least 3 passes in 11-of-13 games on the year, and 3 of his 5 TDs came in MU's last 6 games of the season ... Made 6 grabs against Ole Miss (45 yards), New Mexico (56 yards, TD) and Colorado (66 yards, TD) ... Scored his 3rd TD of the season on a 14-yard pass play in the second quarter against Kansas State to cap off a key 99-yard TD drive that gave MU its first lead of the day ... 4th touchdown of the season came on a 6-yard pass in the third quarter against Nebraska, where he was playing for the 1st time in front of his older brother, Mike, who had a bye week from his duties with the NFL's Carolina Panthers ... Scored his 5th TD of the season on MU's opening drive against Iowa State ... Finished with 4 grabs for 38 yards against ISU.
Had a breakout year, leading the Tigers with 47 receptions for 567 yards and a team-best 12.1 yards per reception ... His receptions were tied for the most of any tight end in the Big 12 Conference (along with teammate Chase Coffman), and his yardage total was 2nd in the league, behind only David Thomas of Texas ... Named 1st-Team All-Big 12 by the Kansas City Star, and landed a spot on the honorable mention All-Big 12 squad, according to league coaches and the Associated Press ... Caught a pass in every game, and had at least 2 catches in 11-of-12 contests ... Closed the regular season with a career performance that earned him the John Mackey Tight End of the Week national award for his 8-catch, 102-yard, 1-TD game at Kansas State ... Had a career-long 48-yard catch-and-run in that game, and made an eye-popping catch for a 16-yard TD in the 1st quarter, as he wrestled the ball away from a KSU defender to claim the game's opening score ... Followed that with a sterling outing in Mizzou's bowl victory over South Carolina, as he grabbed 5 passes for 83 yards, and was an inspirational leader for the team in the second half as Mizzou staged its come-from-behind win ... Won the team's receiver of the year award at the annual team banquet ... Had a career-best 9 catches at Colorado, going for 88 yards ... Had big days against #2 Texas (5 catches, 57 yards) and Troy (4 catches, 52 yards) ... His season totals in catches and yardage both ranked 2nd on the MU single-season tight ends list, and the only Tiger TE to have bigger numbers was former standout A.J. Ofodile, with 55 catches for 589 yards and 4 TDs in 1993 ... Also played on various special teams squads, and recorded 3 tackles in that role.
Established himself as an outstanding player in MU's offense, and was named a 2nd-Team Freshman All-American (College Football News, Rivals.com) and to the 1st-Team Freshman All-Big 12 by the Sporting News ... Also earned the team's freshman of the year award following the season ... Had 19 catches on the year for 263 yards and 4 TDs ... His TD total was 2nd-best on the squad, and his yardage was 4th-best and gave him a solid average per catch of 13.8 yards ... Burst onto the scene in the season opener when he caught his first career pass and rumbled 24 yards for a TD to cap MU's season opening drive against Arkansas State ... Had a career-best 5 catches on Homecoming against Oklahoma State, for 28 yards and 1 TD ... Came up big in MU's 30-10 win at Baylor, as he had 3 catches for 34 yards, with 2 TDs ... His pair of scores came sandwiched around halftime, and helped the Tigers get separation from a game in which they held a slim 6-3 lead ... His 1st TD grab on the night was a brilliant 7-yarder where he outleaped a pair of BU defenders and came down with the ball ... His 2nd score came from 17 yards out ... Had 3 more catches the next week at Texas, for 48 yards, including a season-long 28-yarder on MU's 1st offensive play of the game ... Worked hard in the weight room and added 20 pounds to his playing weight of 220 from the previous year ... Missed the majority of spring practice due to a shoulder injury he suffered during a practice, but had corrective surgery and was full go by the fall ... Entered fall practice period at No. 4 on the depth chart, but didn't take long to work his way to the top of the depth chart.
Redshirt season ... Earned scout team MVP honors for his work in practice leading up to the Colorado game.
A prep standout at both tight end and defensive end ... Was a 1st-team all-state tight end who earned 1st-team all-district and all-conference honors at both tight end and defensive end ... Ranked as the No. 28 tight end prospect in the country by Rivals.com, and as the No. 12 prospect of any position in the state of Missouri by the same outlet ... Ranked as the No. 51 overall prospect in the Midland region by SuperPrep Magazine ... Had 23 catches for 207 yards receiving with 2 TDs as a senior and turned in 64 tackles and 7 quarterback sacks on the defensive side of the ball ... As a junior, caught 25 passes for 340 yards and 3 TDs and added 54 tackles on the defensive side of the ball ... Had 8 catches for 99 yards as a sophomore in 2000 ... An excellent all-around athlete who was an all-district and all-conference performer in basketball, and who placed 12th in the state in the triple jump ... Also won conference and district titles in the triple jump, as well as a conference championship in the long jump ... High school coach - Pat Byrne.
Son of Martin & LaVell Rucker ... Father is member of the House of Representatives in the state of Missouri ... Younger brother of former Nebraska All-American Mike Rucker who stars with the NFL's Carolina Panthers ... Despite the bloodlines, chose Mizzou over Nebraska ... Majoring in hotel and restaurant management at MU ... Chose Mizzou over Nebraska, Colorado State and Kansas, among others.