Rudolph Is A Real Threat To Emerge At QB

Just about a week into his days on a college campus, Mason Rudolph got his first weekday off. At the start of the spring semester, when college students come back, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the Monday of that first three-day weekend.

On this Monday there were no workouts scheduled in the weight room, no coaches around in the office to help him learn the offense. Rudolph could have done anything: see a movie, check out more of Stillwater, play pick-up hoops, camp out playing video games. Instead, the new quarterback was on the floor of Boone Pickens Stadium, taking advantage of South Carolina-type weather.

Rudolph was with walk-on quarterback Richard Lagow, and they were throwing to two receivers, including newly enrolled speedster Tyreek Hill out of Garden City (Kan.) Community College. Being outdoors is something that is a key part of the 6-4, 220-pound Rudolph.

"Down here in South Carolina it is always nice weather, so I try to be outside and doing something, whether it is going down to Myrtle Beach in the summer or hanging outside," Rudolph said before arriving in Stillwater. "It's nice, and nice weather for sure."

While he was taking advantage of South Carolina-like weather in mid-January in Oklahoma, he also was taking advantage of working on his game. Head coach Mike Gundy preaches about wanting to recruit players that love football, and Rudolph fits the criteria.

"This was only my third year of playing quarterback, and I think I've done well each year of getting better at things. I've worked hard in the offseason to get better at my mechanics and add strength or whatever," Rudolph said. "I think I have plenty of potential and had great coaching at Northwestern and really good receivers to throw to. I have really been blessed."

He made his decision to go to Oklahoma State in late May. Then-new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich battled more experienced Division I coaches and coordinators like LSU's Cam Cameron to land Rudolph. Yurcich and his offensive plan won the young quarterback over.

"Everything from the coaching staff to the offense, which is very similar to what we ran at Northwestern," Rudolph said, explaining why he chose the Cowboys won over LSU, Auburn and Virginia Tech.

"I thought it would be an easier transition from high school to college. They call it with different verbiage, but the concepts are all the same. I think it is a good opportunity to compete early for a job and I am going to work hard, whether it is in the weight room, in the film room, or on the practice field, and do what they want me to do."

As for what Rudolph will miss the most coming to Oklahoma, it will be family and a new receiving target that he was just starting to enjoy throwing to this season, but one he has had chemistry with most of his life.

"I would say it is my family and hanging out with them," Rudolph said when describing what is most important to him outside football. "You know, my brother is just a freshman and getting to be with him this football season [was special]. We got to go to a semester of high school together, and he actually got to start several games at the end of the season at receiver. Hanging out with them and having fun is important. It has been a great half of a senior year."

Now, Rudolph looks forward to making this a great bonus half of a freshman year.

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