One-on-One With Mason Rudolph

Since making his verbal pledge to Oklahoma State on Wednesday talented quarterback Mason Rudolph has been busy with final exams, spring football workouts and finishing up school. On Friday morning, the 6-5, 210-pound quarterback slept in on his first day of summer but then he joined Sportstalk with Robert Allen and Friends on Triple Play Sports Radio.

Question: You only get to make that kind of announcement once and it sure seemed like yours on Wednesday was done right?
Rudolph: Yeah, it was an awesome time and I had all of my friends and family come out. It was special, and it was a day that I had been looking forward to for awhile. I was kinda glad to get it out of the way and become a Cowboy.

Question: Oklahoma State fans will remember that you announced Oklahoma State, but what stuck with me was that with a season left to play your high school head coach (Kyle Richardson) could not introduce you without breaking down. That tells me that you two have a very special relationship.
Rudolph: He is kind of a legend while only being a (head) coach about six years in the state of South Carolina. The quarterback before me, Justin Worley, is at Tennessee. He had him for three years and Worley broke every single passing record in South Carolina. This offense is awesome to be a part of and to be the leader of it. Our relationship really started when I was a freshman at a small private high school in Rock Hill (Westminster Catawba), about 500 kids. Worley was graduating when I was a freshman, a rising sophomore. I decided to transfer and take a shot and I thought that if it didn't work out I could always go back to the small private school. From there I never really looked back and the Lord has blessed me with the experiences and everything that I've had. He is really an awesome coach and mentor to me over the past three years.

Question: Chris Miller, your radio announcer there at Northwestern, told me that August of 2011 was the first time you took a competitive snap playing quarterback. You were a wide receiver and defensive back at Westminster Catawba.
Rudolph: It was, being a receiver or DB at a (Class) 2A school it was really nerve wracking for me to even get out there and compete (at quarterback at Northwestern). Then I won the job in week two of the season. It was kind of fast. I was really blessed to have the coaches around me to teach me the offense quick. I only had that one summer to learn it but it was an awesome experience and it has worked out this far.

Question: I don't want to Jon Gruden you because we don't have a grease board and this is radio but within your version of the air raid offense there at Northwestern are there option reads where you and your receivers both read the defense together?
Rudolph: Yeah, a lot of our offense is all about spacing and grasp and so we have hand signals that we do. It is my job as the quarterback that if I see something that we can check to or I see an uncovered receiver then I have the ability or the authority to check out and throw a quick hitch or a quick slant. The offense is pretty much spot on and Coach (Mike) Yurcich he was down in the spring and we were defitinely on the same page. Nothing is going to be easy, but this will be the easiest transition there could be in terms of offense the way they talk it different but everybody has a different way of saying stuff. It's the same concept, same routes, same scheme, so I think it is really similar.

Question: Chris Miller said that you remind him of Ben Roethlisberger when you scramble out of the pocket because like the Steeler quarterback you keep your eyes downfield and you are running not to run but to find a target and throw.
Rudolph: Yeah, I am not a Michael Vick, dual-threat type of runner but I've got the ability to when things break down in the pocket to evade the rush and make a play on my feet, extend the play and keep my eyes downfield and make a play. It has been a needed characteristic and it has proved useful in many games.

Question: When you made your remarks and thanked folks before announcing your decision you impressed a lot of people with the way you thanked your parents and your grandparents for raising you in a Christian environment.
Rudolph: Actually, my family has only lived in Rock Hill, this will be our sixth year. We moved down and I enrolled in Westminster in the sixth grade. Before that I had been home schooled when we lived in Virginia. Obviously, my family is close knit and having a younger brother and younger sister... My brother is a freak and he is going to be way better than me. He is only an eighth grader and he is already 6-3. We are close as a family and growing up in Virginia my grandparents were only an hour away and we were always hanging out with them. Gosh, I've been directed by them and my grandparents have been a really big deal in my life. They come down for every game. That was definitely a big point that I wanted to make to thank them. My parents, the environment they brought me up in and the character they built in me, I am so appreciative of them for doing that.

Question: You came to Stillwater and visited for the spring football game. What is it that you saw to go along with the offense that sold you on Oklahoma State?
Rudolph: At first, when I first got the offer it was great to get it. But I would never go there. Heck, it was awesome to get it. Then when I got there and I saw the facilities and what not. The game day feel and all the coaches, I just felt at home and though this is a place I could see myself living there for the next four years. It is a college town and we did a little tour that night by ourselves (his family). It just felt, it kind of feels like Clemson. I don't know if you are familiar with Clemson but it is like three hours away and it just feels like a college town, and Stillwater felt similar to that. Oklahoma State with the tradition that they've had the last five years or six years, people like (Brandon) Weeden and (Justin) Blackmon and that offense and being able to win a BCS game, the Fiesta Bowl that one year against Stanford. It was all of that and the offense and the connection with Coach Gundy and Coach Yurcich. The connection with those guys and all of the rest just made it feel right.

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