A strongside linebacker throughout his career, he worked out at weakside LB in the spring in order to get him on the field more ... Officially begins preseason work as the strongside starter, but could end up on either side ... Has been the team's top reserve at strongside linebacker the last three seasons, a position he has shared with Johnny Williams ... Has shown a knack for slicing into the opponent backfield ... Has seen action in 38 career games, making four starts.
2008 (Junior): Saw action in all 13 games, earning a start in the Western Kentucky game ... Made 25 tackles for the season ... Posted his first career sack against Georgia for an eight-yard loss ... Also added a forced fumble for the first time in his career against Florida ... Totaled season highs with five tackles in both the Alabama and Florida games.
2007 (Sophomore): Totaled 27 tackles on the season, including five tackles for loss ... Had a career-high six stops in the season-opening win over Eastern Kentucky, including his first two career tackles for a loss ... In his second career start vs. LSU he matched a career-high with six tackles, including a tackle for a loss ... Hauled in his first career interception in the second overtime period vs. Tennessee ... Also started the Music City Bowl, making two tackles.
2006 (Freshman): Played in 12 games, serving as a backup behind defensive leader Wesley Woodyard ... Recorded six tackles on the season and also recovered a fumble ... Member of the kickoff return and kickoff coverage units ... Was the team's leading tackler in the junior-varsity game with eight stops, including 1.5 tackles for loss.
High School: Originally signed with Kentucky in Feb. 2005, he enrolled in the summer of 2006 ... Blossomed as a college prospect during his senior season at Hart County HS in Hartwell, Ga. ... Fine athlete who also earned a reputation as a hard hitter ... Played two years on the varsity ... Started during his senior season, playing inside and outside linebacker on defense and tight end, wide receiver, fullback, and tailback on offense ... Totaled 98 tackles during senior season, including 24 tackles for loss and six quarterback sacks ... Caused four fumbles and had an interception ... Named all-area for Northeast Georgia ... Team went 8-3 and played in the Class AAA state playoffs ... Won the team's Coaches Award for overall effort, attitude, and performance ... Coached by Joby Scroggs ... "Kentucky is signing an athlete. Sam has as much ability as I've ever seen," Scroggs said. "He has tremendous speed, hands, and vertical jump. We had a lot of injuries this year, so we played Sam at six different positions. He's an explosive hitter. Some people just tackle; Sam hits." ... Also played basketball while at Hart County ... Chose Kentucky over North Carolina.
Personal: Born in Hartwell, Ga. ... Son of Carey and Betty Rucker and Christopher Wright ... Major is family science.
Community Cats: Participated in an event at Hayes Middle School (2007) ... Guest visitor at the Dance Blue Marathon (2008).