Former Browns and Patriots LB Bo Ruud (left) joins his older brother, Barrett, on the Bucs' roster
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want a locker room that feels like a family. For Barrett Ruud, that has suddenly become quite literal.
On Monday, the Buccaneers announced the signing of second-year linebacker Bo Ruud, Barrett's younger brother and a fellow University of Nebraska product. Ruud takes the roster spot opened when linebacker Angelo Crowell was placed on injured reserve on Monday. Crowell sustained a season-ending biceps injury on Saturday night in the Buccaneers' 24-23 win at Jacksonville.
The Bucs added yet another familiar face to the practice field on Monday, too. Using a roster spot opened last week with the release of wide receiver Joel Filani, the team signed first-year cornerback Darrell Hunter, who went to training camp with the Buccaneers last summer.
The 6-3, 235-pound Ruud was a sixth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2008 but he spent his rookie season on injured reserve after sustaining a knee injury during the preseason. After the season, the Patriots waived Ruud on April 29 and he was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns. Ruud went to camp with the Browns this summer but was released one week ago.
While the elder Ruud starts at middle linebacker for the Buccaneers, and has since 2007, the team's newest 'backer will compete on the strong side. That competition took a hit on Saturday with Crowell's injury.
Bo Ruud saw action in 46 games over four years for Nebraska, starting 33 and recording 216 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback pressures, five interceptions, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He returned three of his five picks for touchdowns, tying a school record, and was named first-team All-Big 12 in 2006.
Ruud didn't just follow his older brother to Nebraska; playing for the Cornhuskers is a family tradition. Bo was the sixth member of his family to play at Nebraska, and also the third to reach the NFL. Bo and Barrett's father, played five seasons with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals in the 1970s.
The 5-11, 211-pound Hunter returns to Tampa after stopping briefly on the New Orleans Saints' practice squad last fall and then landing in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos. He first entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, eventually making it onto the Cardinals' active roster in December, in time to appear in three games and collect one tackle apiece on defense and special teams.
The Bucs first encountered Hunter during the 2007 regular-season, twice signing him to their practice squad. He also appeared on the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad between those two stints. Tampa Bay re-signed Hunter after the 2007 season and he suited up in the '08 preseason, contributing 10 tackles and a pass defensed.
Hunter is blessed with top-notch speed (he is a former state track champion) and he started his last 38 college games at Miami of Ohio. He hails from Middletown, Ohio.