Mike Rivera 40
Class: RS Senior
Hometown: Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Career Honors: Career Honors: 2007: Butkus Award Watch List, All-Big 12 Third Team (Phil Steele), All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (Coaches), Academic All-Big 12 First Team. 2006: All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (Coaches, Associated Press), Academic All-Big 12 Second Team, KU co-Defensive Player of the Week (vs. Florida International and vs. Baylor)
2007 (Jr.): Ranked 14th in the Big 12 in tackles per game (7.38)... Tied for 15th in the league in tackles for loss per game (0.81)... Moved to outside linebacker after starting at middle linebacker in 2006... Started all 13 games... Recorded 96 tackles to rank third on the team... Had 10.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks, which tied for second on the team... Sacks came against Southeastern Louisiana, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech... Was involved in five turnovers on the year as he had an interception against Nebraska, forced two fumbles (vs. Nebraska and vs. Missouri) and recovered two fumbles (both against Florida International)... His seven passes broken up were third on the team... Had double-digit tackle totals in three different games, including each of the last two contests... Had 14 stops vs. Missouri and 12 vs. Virginia Tech... Also had 10 at Texas A&M... Recorded at least five tackles in 11 of 13 games.
2006 (So.): Started all 12 games of the season at middle linebacker... Earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors from the league's head coaches and from the Associated Press... Named KU's Willie Pless award winner after leading the Jayhawks with 90 total tackles... Finished third on the club with 7.5 tackles-for-loss... Ended the season with 1.5 quarterback sacks and a team-best eight QB hurries... Forced a fumble against Iowa State... Posted three double-digit tackling performances... Collected six or more tackles in 10 of KU's 12 games... An academic all-Big 12 second-team selection... A team captain... Was the inaugural winner of the team's Galen Fiss award for campus and community service.
2005 (Fr.): Saw action in all 12 games as a backup linebacker and special teams standout... Tallied 20 total tackles including 11 solo stops... Forced one QB hurry.
2004 (RS.): Redshirted... Practiced with the scout team defense... Chosen by the coaching staff as the defensive scout team player of the week vs. Iowa State.
High School: Rated the 23rd-best inside linebacking prospect in the nation by Rivals.com... Named the Sun Country Defensive Player of the Year... Earned All-Sunflower League First Team and All-Johnson County First-Team honors as a linebacker... Recorded 149 tackles as a senior and 125 during his junior season... Was a finalist for the prestigious Buck Buchanan award... An All-Conference honorable mention tight end on the offensive side of the ball... Coached by Scott Diebold... Lettered three years in football and track for the Cougars.
Favorites: Place to eat in Lawrence - Burge Union; Place to play football - Kivisto Field; Activity other than football - Soccer; Athlete - Kimbo Slice; Pregame ritual - Go out on the field early with the other linebackers so we can stretch and throw the ball around; Football memory - Any memory from here; Thing about your team - We are a bunch of regular guys that enjoy working hard and paying the price for success
Personal: Born in Shawnee, Kan.... A communications studies major, working on a master's in sports management... Would like to travel the world... Hobbies include snorkeling, fishing and cooking chicken... Son of Mike and Judy Rivera... Has one brother and two sisters... Father wrestled and played football at Central Missouri State.