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Oklahoma State Safety Trey Rucker Announces Return for 2024

Rucker had 100 tackles and made some big plays this past season.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


The Cowboys continue the momentum of bringing players back to build off their 10-4 2023 campaign.

Starting safety Trey Rucker on Tuesday announced his plans to return for Oklahoma State for a final season. Rucker was the Cowboys’ third-leading tackler in 2023, totaling 100 tackles to go with four tackles for loss, an interception, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.

Rucker had two double-digit tackle games, both in OSU wins. The first came in the Cowboys’ win against Kansas State on Oct. 6 to start a five-game winning streak that turned the Cowboys’ season around. He had 11 tackles against the Wildcats, including a tackle for loss. Rucker’s other big game was his 10-tackle performance against Houston. What was more impactful than his tackles, Rucker intercepted a Donovan Smith pass with OSU down 23-9 in the second quarter and returned it 29 yards to set up an OSU touchdown that turned the fortunes of that game.

Perhaps his most impactful play of the entire season, though, came the next week when he stripped a ball free from a BYU tight end in double overtime to clinch a Big 12 title game appearance for the Cowboys.

Listed at 6-foot, 207 pounds, Rucker walked on in Stillwater ahead of the 2021 season after playing at Wake Forest for two seasons. He has since been put on scholarship. In his two seasons in the ACC, Rucker made a combined 84 tackles and intercepted two passes.

He was primarily a special teams player on OSU’s Fiesta Bowl-winning 2021 squad, a season in which Rucker made 10 tackles. Rucker redshirted in 2022 playing only in OSU’s Guaranteed Rate Bowl against Wisconsin. Rucker did make some plays in that game, intercepting a pass, making a touchdown saving tackle and having a big pass breakup on a Badger third down.

Rucker joins fellow safety Kendal Daniels as players in OSU’s secondary to announce returns for 2024. The Cowboys have also added to the safety room via the transfer portal by grabbing Kobe Hylton from UTEP. Add that to youngsters like Lyrik Rawls, Cameron Epps and Dylan Smith all being a year wiser in 2024, and there is a lot of promise for the back end of the Cowboys’ defense in Bryan Nardo’s second year.

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