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He missed the entire 2007 season with a dislocated hip, then had just 23 carries for 137 yards in 2008 before piling up more than 2,200 yards over his final two seasons. Last season, he led the Orange to their first bowl game since 2004 and was named the offensive MVP in the East-West Shrine Game.

There also area off-the-field questions.

Last April, Carter was charged with misdemeanor assault after being accused of hitting and injuring another man on Feb. 27, 2010. Carter was suspended for the rest of spring practice and the summer, and university officials said he had to perform 200 hours of community service work before he could return to the team.

Carter did not miss any games. In September, however, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of harassment _ admitting in court that he had punched that person in the face, according to reports from Syracuse.

Rucker had more problems than Carter at Michigan State.

He was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 150 hours of community service for his role in a 2009 fight on campus, which led to the suspension of more than a half-dozen football players.

Last October, Rucker wound up serving eight days in jail for violating probation. He was initially charged with drunken driving, but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving. Spartans coach Mark Dantonio punished Rucker by not allowing him to start against then No. 18 Iowa.

The Polians said they looked extensively into the backgrounds of both players.

“We got a chance to talk to them individually, we got a chance to talk with people around the program, we got a chance to talk with our security and psychology people and they all feel they’ve learned from those situations,” Chris Polian said. “We feel confident in giving them a second chance here.”

Rucker, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback, will add depth to a secondary that has already lost former NFL defensive player of the year Bob Sanders to San Diego and could still lose safety Melvin Bullitt in free agency.

Rucker had six interceptions and two sacks in his career with the Spartans but has never played safety.

“The style of play, I think I will be able to help the team with the way I play,” he said. “I just want to play good and tough every day in practice and showing them I’m a competitor and that I’m willing to compete.”

Indy also drafted LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis in the third round Friday.