Started all 13 games, including the final 11 at middle linebacker last year... took over the MLB role full-time following the season-ending injury to Dan Mason in the Sept. 23 Miami game (Gruder started the initial two games at Sam LB)...had 84 tackles, one TFL assist, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception...had career-high 13 tackles at Notre Dame... had 11 tackles at Connecticut...had a fumble recovery and an interception in the opening quarter at Cincinnati...the Panthers converted both turnovers into touchdowns and a 14-0 lead...recovered a fumble on Rutgers' opening drive of third quarter (forced by Jarred Holley) at the Scarlet Knights' 43 that Pitt parlayed into a TD and 21-14 lead it would not relinquish. Career Highs: Tackles: 13 vs. Notre Dame (10/9/10); Sacks: 0.5 vs. Connecticut (10/10/09); Interceptions: 1 vs. Cincinnati (12/4/10).
Finished as the team's leading tackler with 91 stops in his first year as the starting Will linebacker...also had 4.5 TFLs, a sack assist, four PBUs, a fumble recovery and forced fumble...earned Pitt's Most Improved Defensive Player award for the 2009 season...for the Meineke Car Care Bowl against North Carolina, moved to Sam linebacker in place of ailing starter Greg Williams and had a game-high 11 tackles, matching his career best...forced a fumble against the Tar Heels that was recovered by teammate Jarred Holley...Pitt parlayed the turnover into a field goal...named to Sporting News' All-Bowl Team...also had a career-high 11 stops against Notre Dame...had 10 stops with a TFL and two PBUs at Rutgers...had nine stops with a TFL at Louisville...recovered a fumble at NC State...a recipient of the Ed Conway Award as one of the most improved players of spring drills.
Played in 13 games as a reserve linebacker and special teams performer...totaled five tackles on the year...had a season-high two tackles vs. Rutgers.
First team All-North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA)...two-time first team All-Charlotte Independent School Athletic Conference...compiled 111 tackles, 17 tackles for losses, two interceptions (one returned for a TD) and two fumble recoveries as a senior...starter at middle linebacker and offensive guard...led team to the Charlotte Independent School Athletic Conference championship and the state championship game as a senior...team went 10-3 his senior year and 28-10 (.737) during his three varsity seasons...compiled 289 career tackles as a three-year letterman...selected to play in the Oasis All-Star Shrine Football Classic (but chose not to participate)...played under Coach Bob Wittman at Charlotte Country Day...rated one of the top 35 prospects in the state of North Carolina by Scout.com...two-year track and field letterman...also played hockey.
Maximilian Mitchell Gruder, born 3/15/89, is the son of Meg Mitchell and Bob Gruder...has one sister.