Henry Ruggs
refer to caption
Ruggs in 2021
No. 11
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1999-01-24) January 24, 1999 (age 25)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:188 lb (85 kg)
Career information
High school:Robert E. Lee
(Montgomery, Alabama)
College:Alabama (2017–2019)
NFL Draft:2020 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:50
Receiving yards:921
Rushing yards:65
Return yards:211
Total touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com

Henry James Ruggs III (born January 24, 1999) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons. He played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was a member of the team that won the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship. Ruggs was selected by the Las Vegas Raiders in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

During his second season, Ruggs caused a motor vehicle collision that killed the driver of another car. He was released by the Raiders the same day. On May 10, 2023, Ruggs formally pleaded guilty to a felony count of driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter. He was sentenced to serve three to ten years in a Nevada state prison and is currently incarcerated at the Stewart Conservation Camp.

Early years

Ruggs[1] grew up in Montgomery, Alabama.[2] In the eighth grade, he was promoted to the varsity football team for the final two games of its season.[2] He attended Robert E. Lee High School.[3] He did not play high school football until his junior year and received his first scholarship offer after just his second game on the gridiron.[2] As a senior, he had 38 catches for 639 yards in nine games.[4] He scored 20 touchdowns: nine catches, seven rushes, three passes, and one kick return.[5] Ruggs also played basketball and ran track in high school; his 100-meter dash time of 10.58 seconds was the Alabama High School Athletic Association's class 7A record.[6] In 2017, 247Sports.com ranked him as the second-best high school football player in Alabama.[7] Ruggs received scholarship offers from more than 20 colleges to play football; he chose the University of Alabama.[6][8][9][10]

College career

As a true freshman at Alabama in 2017, Ruggs had 12 receptions for 229 yards and six touchdowns.[11] As a sophomore in 2018, he had 46 receptions for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns.[12][13] As a junior in 2019, he had 40 receptions for 746 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns.[14] During his junior season, Ruggs was also the team's primary kick returner and averaged 23.8 yards per return.[14] His 24 total career receiving touchdowns places him third on Alabama's all-time leaderboard.[5] On January 6, 2020, Ruggs announced that he would forgo his true senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.[15]

College statistics

Season Team Class GP Receiving
Rec Yds Avg TD
2017 Alabama FR 14 12 229 19.1 6
2018 Alabama SO 14 46 741 16.1 11
2019 Alabama JR 12 40 746 18.7 7
Career 40 98 1,716 17.5 24

Professional career

Pre-draft

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
5 ft 11 in
(1.80 m)
188 lb
(85 kg)
30+12 in
(0.77 m)
10+18 in
(0.26 m)
4.27 s 1.54 s 2.52 s 42.0 in
(1.07 m)
10 ft 11 in
(3.33 m)
20
All values from NFL Combine[16][17]

Ruggs ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL Combine that was the year's fastest time by any prospect by .08 seconds, and it tied for the fourth-fastest ever at the event since electronic timing began in 1999.[5][18] Ruggs' vertical jump was measured 42 inches, tied for second-best among wide receivers at the 2020 combine.[19]

2020

At the 2020 NFL Draft, Ruggs was the first wide receiver to be drafted.[20] The Las Vegas Raiders selected him with the 12th overall pick, their first since moving from Oakland earlier in the year.[21] Ruggs was also the Raiders' second consecutive first-round pick of a player from the University of Alabama, joining 2019 first round running back Josh Jacobs.[22] On July 21, 2020, Ruggs signed a fully guaranteed four-year contract worth $16.67 million, with a team option for a fifth year.[23]

On September 13, 2020, Ruggs made his NFL debut in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, including making his first career catch.[24] During Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ruggs recorded his first 100-yard game, with 118 receiving yards, which included his first career touchdown, a 72-yard reception.[25] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on December 15, 2020,[26] and activated on December 24.[27] Ruggs finished his rookie year with 26 receptions, 452 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in 13 games played.[28]

2021

In the 2021 season, Ruggs had 24 receptions, 469 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in seven games.[29]

Ruggs was released on November 2, 2021, the day he was involved in a drunk driving car crash which killed the other driver.[30] His less-than-two-season stint with the Raiders totaled 20 games, 1,197 all-purpose yards, and four touchdowns.[31]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Returning Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 LV 13 12 26 452 17.4 72T 2 9 49 5.4 12T 0 7 141 20.1 32T 0 2 2
2021 LV 7 7 24 469 19.5 61 2 3 16 5.3 7 0 4 70 17.5 22T 0 0 0
Career 20 19 50 921 18.4 72T 4 12 65 5.4 12T 0 11 211 19.2 32T 0 2 2

Personal life

Ruggs credits his friend Roderic Scott with encouraging him to play football in high school.[7] Scott died in a car crash at 17 years of age, and Ruggs would honor him with a three-fingered salute after every touchdown because Scott wore number 3 on the basketball court.[7] Ruggs' brother Kevontae played college football for Ole Miss in 2018 before transferring to East Mississippi Community College in 2019.[32]

In April 2020, Henry Ruggs partnered with Three Square, a southern Nevada food bank, to donate meals to those in need because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[33]

On May 7, 2020, Ruggs' daughter was born to his long-term girlfriend Rudy Washington.[34][35][36]

2021 fatal car crash

On November 2, 2021, Ruggs rear-ended another car at high speed in Spring Valley, outside of Las Vegas. Twenty-three year old Tina Tintor and her dog Max were burned to death in the fatal collision, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and county prosecutors.[37] Ruggs was charged with driving under the influence resulting in death and reckless driving.[38]

Hours before the incident, Ruggs and his girlfriend, Kiara Kilgo-Washington, were seen drinking at a Topgolf location on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise.[39] They left after midnight in his Chevrolet Corvette.[40] Police produced digital evidence shortly thereafter showing that, at approximately 3:39 a.m., driving 156 miles per hour (251 km/h), Ruggs attempted to panic-stop the Corvette as he approached the Toyota RAV4 driven by Tintor, but lost control, slamming into her at 127 miles per hour (204 km/h).[1][41][42] The Clark County Coroner determined that Tintor and her dog burned to death as her vehicle was engulfed in flames following the collision.[43]

Ruggs and Kilgo-Washington were transported to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMCSN) with non-life-threatening injuries.[44]

Legal proceedings

Upon his release from the hospital, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department booked him into the Clark County Detention Center.[45] Ruggs appeared in court the following day, and Judge Joe M. Bonaventure set bail at $150,000.[46]

Police reports showed that Ruggs had refused to take a field sobriety test, and his blood test, taken two hours following the crash, revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.161%, more than twice the legal limit in Nevada.[47] Ruggs' defense attorney, David Chesnoff, argued that Ruggs was unable to submit a field sobriety test because of his injuries sustained in the accident, and claimed that the blood test should not be admissible as evidence since the police did not have probable cause to obtain a blood test. Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman rejected Chesnoff's arguments and ruled the blood test admissible as evidence in the case.[48]

On May 10, 2023, as part of a plea agreement, Ruggs pleaded guilty to one count of felony DUI resulting in death and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Prosecutors said they reached a plea deal due to concerns the blood draw would be thrown out, and with it the only evidence to support the felony DUI charge. They were not willing to chance Ruggs only facing charges of reckless driving, which could have only resulted in probation. He was sentenced on August 9, 2023, to spend between three and ten years at High Desert State Prison in Nevada.[49][50][51][52]

Response

The Las Vegas Raiders released Ruggs later on November 2, 2021.[53]

Various football players and coaches made public statements. Derek Carr, a former Raiders teammate, said Ruggs needs to be loved and that "if no one else will do it, I'll do it". Ex-Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said, "We want to express our sincere condolences to the victim's family".[54] Kadarius Toney of the New York Giants drew criticism for seeming to ignore the gravity of the situation and excuse Ruggs when he tweeted, "We young…..everybody make mistakes… he know he messed up don't drag em for it……that's goofy to me…."[55] Nick Saban, who coached Ruggs on the Alabama Crimson Tide college football team, said, "We're going to support him through it, but we also have a lot of compassion for the victims, and our thoughts and prayers are also with them."[56] Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, who both played with Ruggs at Alabama, also spoke on the matter. Tagovailoa said, "You'd never think this guy could hurt a soul, so when you see something like that – I mean, I'm still kind of in disbelief. But, obviously my heart goes out to the family that has been affected by it. But my heart also goes out to Henry as my teammate, ex-teammate." Hurts said, "It's unfortunate to see a situation like that unfold, and I'll just kind of leave it at that. It hurts my heart for everybody involved."[57]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Press release" (PDF). Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Champlin, Drew (May 12, 2016). "Lee-Montgomery receiver Henry Ruggs' commitment to football rewarded with major offers". AL.com. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  3. ^ "Henry Ruggs III, Robert E. Lee , Wide Receiver". 247Sports. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  4. ^ Rankin, Duane (May 26, 2017). "RTG: 5-star Ruggs III wants fast start at Alabama". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Martin, Gus (April 24, 2020). "NFL Draft: Five Things to Know about Henry Ruggs III, the Raiders' New Wide Receiver". USA Today. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Klass, Kym (June 26, 2017). "Henry Ruggs III: Robert E. Lee". Montgomery Advisor.
  7. ^ a b c Byington, Alex (October 28, 2018). "Alabama's Henry Ruggs III honors Rod Scott with every touchdown". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  8. ^ Ostendorf, Greg (February 1, 2017). "ESPN 300 WR Henry Ruggs III honors late friend, chooses Alabama". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  9. ^ Steadham, A.P. (February 1, 2017). "State's Top WR Chooses Alabama". 247Sports. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  10. ^ "Henry Ruggs, 2017 Wide Receiver, Alabama". Rivals.com. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  11. ^ Darrington, Kamarri (January 12, 2018). "Henry Ruggs III exceeds own expectations at Alabama". USA TODAY Sports. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  12. ^ Paschall, David (March 28, 2019). "Alabama's Jerry Jeudy not resting on last year's accomplishments". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  13. ^ Byington, Alex (November 20, 2018). "Alabama WR Henry Ruggs flashing elite speed in sophomore season". Dothan Eagle. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Henry Ruggs III 2019 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Sallee, Barrett (January 6, 2020). "2020 NFL Draft: Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III becomes latest Crimson Tide star to declare". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
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  17. ^ "2020 Draft Scout Henry Ruggs III, Alabama NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
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  19. ^ Raven, Benjamin (March 2, 2020). "Alabama's Henry Ruggs III didn't break records but sits alone as fastest in loaded WR class". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  20. ^ Hudson, Brett (April 23, 2020). "Henry Ruggs taken by Raiders in first round of NFL Draft". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
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  22. ^ Dubow, Josh (April 24, 2020). "Raiders draft speedy receiver Henry Ruggs 12th overall". Washington Times. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
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  29. ^ "Henry Ruggs 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  30. ^ Guiterrez, Paul (November 2, 2021). "Las Vegas Raiders release WR Henry Ruggs III, who faces two felony charges in fatal crash". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  31. ^ "Henry Ruggs III Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  32. ^ Byington, Alex (January 14, 2020). "'Nothing but a chance': Kevontae' Ruggs searches for scholarship after JUCO season". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  33. ^ Inabinett, Mark (April 29, 2020). "Road to the Pros: Henry Ruggs III gets the call from Jon Gruden". Press-Register: Web Edition Articles.
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  36. ^ Anderson, Mark (June 9, 2020). "Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs announces birth of daughter". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
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  39. ^ Brown, Lee (November 4, 2021). "Henry Ruggs III filmed partying in Las Vegas before deadly high-speed crash". New York Post. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  40. ^ "CHEVY CORVETTE C8 STINGRAY". Dreamworks Motorsports. December 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
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  49. ^ Forrest, Brett (May 10, 2023). "Henry Ruggs III formally pleads guilty to DUI in deadly Las Vegas crash". My News 4. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
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  54. ^ Ramirez, W.G. (November 4, 2021). "Derek Carr: Henry Ruggs III needs to be loved right now". ABC News. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  55. ^ Leonard, Pat (November 4, 2021). "Giants' Kadarius Toney gets dragged for insensitive 'everyone makes mistakes' tweet about Henry Ruggs fatal car crash". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  56. ^ Kelly, Nick (November 3, 2021). "Nick Saban on Henry Ruggs III in wake of fatal car crash: 'Consequences can be devastating'". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  57. ^ Hill, Adam (November 4, 2021). "Saban, Tagovailoa, others react to Ruggs' crash, arrest". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2021.