Rudolph's Coach Hopes History Isn't Repeated

Mason Rudolph's alma mater will be trying to avenge a season-opening loss that was televised on ESPN when the Northwestern Trojans from Rock Hill take on Byrne in a second-round playoff game Friday night in South Carolina. Trojans head coach Kyle Richardson will be coaching one of Rudolph's favorite targets from last season, Dupree Hart, who now plays quarterback in a run-oriented spread attack.

Richardson has seen some outstanding passing quarterbacks as besides Rudolph he coached former Furman quarterback Will King and Tennessee's quarterback until an injury last month ended Justin Worley's season.

Rudolph has kept the redshirt on throughout the Cowboys 5-5 season, but current starting quarterback Daxx Garman has taken a beating and is questionable for Oklahoma State's game Saturday night in Waco, Texas at seventh-ranked Baylor.

Richardson is hoping history won't repeat itself. You see King set all of Northwestern's passing records, then Worley broke them and then Rudolph passed all of Worley's marks.

"The game is so much faster and it is a difficult situation, and if Mason's first chance is Saturday then it is a conference game on the road and you throw in a top-10 football team and forget what Baylor's defense is going to do, you might have to score 50 to keep up with Baylor's offense.""

Rudolph threw for 10,986 yards in his three seasons, and In leading Northwestern to an undefeated championship season last year he threw for 4,377 yards with 64 touchdown passes and just 8 interceptions. He completed 40-of-57 passing in the 62-35 win in the 4A championship game and that included 488 yards and 8 touchdown passes.

That is the good history, but the redshirt history is what Richardson hopes won't be broken.

"Obviously, Mason wants to play and he wants to play this year but he also understands what (Justin) Worley went through at Tennessee," Richardson said in starting his explanation of not wanting history repeated. "Worley, very similar situation, was told he was going to redshirt and then a couple of injuries later and toward the end of the season his redshirt was pulled and that set off a path of what was not a great situation for Worley. With the injury that he had this year it would be nice for him to have another year instead of that freshman year where his redshirt was pulled.

"Mason knows all about that from being at Northwestern and me coaching both of them."

Richardson has been consistent through the season having talked to Oklahoma media on a couple of occasions. He loves the idea of Rudolph redshirting and said even though he knows Mason wants to play, the Cowboys freshman understands the advantages. Richardson says when they talk it is more about life and school rather than football.

"Really we don't get into those discussions but he's going to be ready for his opportunity whether that presents itself on Saturday or whether it presents itself next year or whenever," Richardson said. "He's a very talented football player and works hard on and off the field. His work ethic is what allows him to do some of the things he's done."

While Richardson is very confident that Rudolph will be a good college quarterback, he also knows how difficult that process is in the beginning.

"I think he will handle it like any 18-or 19-year-old quarterback would," Richardson said. "He's never been in that situation and I know we keep comparing him to Worley's situation but Worley was more prepared for the talent level that he played against versus Mason.

"Worley started four straight years (in high school) versus Jadavion Clowney, played him twice in his senior year. He played against Stephon Gilmore who was a top-round pick and Devante Holiman, who was a third-round pick. He played against all those guys at the high school level. His first career start came against South Carolina.

"The game is so much faster and it is a difficult situation, and if Mason's first chance is Saturday then it is a conference game on the road and you throw in a top-10 football team and forget what Baylor's defense is going to do, you might have to score 50 to keep up with Baylor's offense."

Richardson will have be tuned in and he said he appreciates how hard the season has been on Daxx Garman but he hopes that Garman can hang in there a couple more games and let his former standout get a running start on the kickoff of his career next year.


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