2005 Draddy Trophy “Academic Heisman” Recipient (National Football Foundation)
2005 Wuerffel Trophy Recipient (All Sports Foundation)
2005 McWhorter Award Recipient as SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2005 SEC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year (SEC Coaches)
2005 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete
2005 First-Team Academic All-America (CoSIDA)
2005 CBS Scholar-Athlete of the Week (vs. Florida, vs. Alabama)
2005 Second-Team All-SEC (SEC Coaches, AP)
2004 First-Team Academic All-America (CoSIDA)
2004 First-Team Academic All-District (CoSIDA)
2004 CBS Scholar-Athlete of the Week (vs. Arkansas)
2004 SEC Academic Honor Roll
2003 SEC Academic Honor Roll
2002 SEC Academic Honor Roll
One of the most decorated student-athletes in LSU history ... Swept all of the major academic awards during 2005-06, claiming the Draddy Trophy, which is commonly referred to as the “Academic Heisman” as well as being named the recipient of the McWhorter Award as the SEC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... Two-time First-Team Academic All-America and a two-year starter on the offensive line for the Tigers ... Only the second two-time First-Team Academic All-America selection in school history joining Rodney Reed (2002, 2003) ... Graduated from LSU with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and has been accepted to LSU Medical School in Shreveport after scoring in the top 8 percent nationally on the medical entrance exam ... On the field, played in 47 games during his career, starting 29 times ... Played and started at least one game at all five positions on the offensive line during his career.
Played in all 13 games with 12 starts for the Tigers ... Enjoyed tremendous success both on and off the field in 2005 ... Named the recipient of the Draddy Trophy from the National Football Foundation in December ... The award carries a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship ... Also named the inaugural winner of the Wuerffel Trophy, which is called the "Humanitarian Heisman" ... In April honored as the recipient of the SEC's McWhorter Award, which goes to the top male and female student-athlete in the conference ... The McWhorter Award carries a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship with it ... Named Second-Team All-SEC as a center as well as being a First-Team Academic All-America selection for the second straight year ... Named the top scholar-athlete in SEC football by the league's coaches becoming the first LSU player to earn the honor ... Graduated in May with a 4.0 grade point average in pre-medicine ... Decided to put medical school on hold for a year and return for his senior season ... Graduated Summa Cum Laude and was also named a University Medalist ... As a senior, played 777 snaps from scrimmage, the second-highest total on the squad ... .Led team with 114 knockdowns and added 22 pancakes ... Whistled for only 4 penalties all year and allowed just a ½ sack from his center position.
JUNIOR SEASON (2004)
Played and started in all 12 games for the Tigers ... Started 4 positions on the offensive line for the Tigers in 2004, including the last four games at center ... Moved from right guard to center when All-America Ben Wilkerson went down with a season-ending knee injury against Vanderbilt ... Opened season with a start at left guard ... Followed that with four consecutive starts at right guard before moving to right tackle for one game against Florida ... Then shifted back to right guard for the next two games before taking over for Wilkerson at center ... Played a total of 741 snaps from scrimmage with 22 pancakes and 74 knockdowns ... Whistled for only 1 penalty and allowed just 4 sacks in 2004 ... Had season-best of 12 knockdowns vs. Ole Miss ... Season-high of 4 pancakes against Auburn and Vanderbilt ... Played every offensive snap in games against Oregon State (79 snaps), Auburn (68), Florida (85), Vanderbilt (58), Ole Miss (80), and Iowa (73) in the Capital One Bowl.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2003)
Player that saw action as both a starter as well as in a backup role for LSU in 2003 ... Stepped in for an injured Nate Livings against South Carolina and started at left guard in LSU's next four games ...Played in 13 games, both on offense and on the field goal protection unit ... Saw action in 369 plays and recorded seven pancakes and 38 knockdowns ... Whistled for only one penalty all year.
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN SEASON (2002)
Saw action at just about every position on the offensive line in 2002 ... Played in nine games with no starts ... Saw most of his action at the right guard position ... Filled in for an injured Ben Wilkerson at center earlier in the season ... Also played the left guard spot as well ... Saw action in 187 plays, including a season-high of 48 against Louisiana-Lafayette and 29 vs. Ole Miss.
One of the top offensive line prospects in the nation .... Rated as the No. 10 offensive line prospect in the nation by SuperPrep ... Earned PrepStar All-America honors and was named 2A All-State after leading Ouachita Christian to the state title ... Named to the Rivals.com Top 100 and to Max Emfinger's Top 125 ... Member of the Baton Rouge Advocate's Super Dozen, the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Top 16 Blue Chip list as well as the Shreveport Times Top 20 for Louisiana ... Also named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Southern 100 and the Dallas Morning News' Top 100 for all of high school football ... On offense recorded 196 pancake blocks and did not allow a sack in 700 pass attempts over a three-year span ... On defense, recorded 70 tackles and eight sacks from the defensive tackle position ... Had 24 tackles for losses, recovered two fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown ... Coached by Steve Fitzhugh.
Full name is Rudolph Nelson Niswanger ... Goes by Rudy ... Born November 9, 1982 in Monroe, La. ... Parents are Joe and Dee Niswanger ... Has one brother, Fritz, and one sister, Jodee ... Both parents and brother and sister all attended LSU ... Married last May ... Active member of the LSU CHAMPS program and spends free time doing community service projects.