Rudolph Falls Short Of Mr. Football Honor

It's safe to assume that voting for the annual Mr. Football Award in South Carolina was conducted prior to last Saturday's AAAA Division II state championship game. The top two candidates went head to head with Northwestern High quarterback Mason Rudolph, who is bound for Oklahoma State, leading his team to an easy 62-35 victory over Stratford and Georgia commitment Jacob Park.

But today in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the award of "Mr. Football" symbolic of the top player in the state went to Park, who seemed very surprised to receive it. Park is a dynamite athlete who can run and pass with a strong arm. However, Rudolph, who is 6-4 1/2 and 220 pounds, also has the ability to run.

Head to head in the championship game, Rudolph was 40-of-57 passing for 488 yards with eight touchdowns and just one interception! Rudolph also had a rushing touchdown in the game and he was involved in 523 of the 525 total offensive yards for the victorious Trojans.

Park completed 21 of 39 passes for 347 yards with four touchdown passes and four interceptions.

On the season, Rudolph completed 350 of 482 passes for 4,377 yards with 64 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He also ran for more than 500 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Park threw for more than 3,500 yards and 32 touchdown passes.

This result seems very confusing, and I stand by my assessment, that Rudolph is the top national quarterback prospect that I've seen, either in person or on tape, coming out of the high school ranks this season. It's a statement that I made well before Rudolph made his pledge to Oklahoma State,


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