2011 NFL Draft: Michigan State's Chris L. Rucker Selected By Indianapolis In Sixth Round




EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State senior cornerback Chris L. Rucker, a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s head coaches in 2010, has been selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round (No. 188 overall) of the 2011 National Football League Draft Saturday, April 30.


Rucker ranked third on the team in pass break-ups (7) and fifth in tackles with a career-best 64, including 3.5 for losses (20 yards). He recorded five tackles, a career-high three pass break-ups and forced a fumble at Penn State. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Rucker made seven stops against Purdue and his fourth-quarter interception sparked MSU's comeback, as the Spartans rallied from a 15-point deficit for a 35-31 victory. He produced seven tackles each against Minnesota, Wisconsin and Western Michigan. Rucker also came up with a fourth-quarter interception at Michigan. He posted a career-best 12 tackles, including one for a loss, two pass break-ups and forced a fumble against Notre Dame.


“They liked the way I played the game,” Rucker said. “They felt that my style of play really fit into their defensive scheme. They want me to try and come in and help the team right away.


“It is a great honor, a great organization – great ownership, great management. It is a winning team, and it is an honor for them to choose me and for me to now go to Indianapolis and try to help the team. I talked with (former Spartan wide receiver) Blair White a little already about the organization, and he said that I need to expect to work hard and to come ready to play.


“I think I have progressed a lot. Coming in, I was a young man and now I am a man. I have learned so much throughout my years at Michigan State that I can use for the rest of my life. I really appreciate my time at MSU, and it will always have a special place in my heart.


“My expectations were to just get the opportunity,” Rucker continued. “No matter where or when I went, I just wanted the opportunity. I just wanted the opportunity to go out there and show what I can do and prove myself. It has been a long week, but I’m happy to know that I am going to the Indianapolis Colts.”


“Well if you think Marlin Jackson,” Indianapolis Colts Vice Chairman Bill Polian. “Again, I don’t want to compare collegiate players to players that have helped us win Super Bowls or go to Super Bowls, but he has many of the same skills that Marlin Jackson has.”


The Warren, Ohio, native started 34 of 42 career games. His career totals include 191 tackles, six interceptions and 19 pass break-ups.


Additional quotes regarding Chris L. Rucker . . . 

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio:

“In addition to being an excellent tackler, Chris L. Rucker has the size, speed and ball skills to play a variety of positions in the secondary. He started a ton of games over his four-year career, so he’s been battle tested at the highest level. That experience should lend itself to providing Chris L. with an opportunity to play in the pros.”