Rudolph Heads To Manning Passing Academy

Oklahoma State sophomore starting quarterback Mason Rudolph will miss a few days of workouts later this week as he will spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Thibodaux, La., on the campus of Nicholls State University serving as a college quarterback counselor for the Manning Passing Academy.

This is the 20th year and a milestone anniversary for the camp for high school quarterbacks started by the first family of football and quarterbacks in America back in the summer of 1996 in the Manning’s hometown of New Orleans at Tulane University.

“It was basically Peyton’s idea,” Archie Manning told the National Football Foundation in a story honoring the 20th year for the camp. “He was a junior at Tennessee, and at that time high school quarterbacks were not throwing much, and he said what can do to help them.

“I think we have accomplished our mission, which was to enhance the high school experience for young quarterbacks and receivers,” continued the elder Manning, the chairman of the National Football Foundation and the executive director of the camp. “It’s not to make them into college players and certainly not pro players but to help them with their skills, their leadership qualities, their knowledge of nutrition and hydration, character, work habits, the cerebral part of football. The kids who come to our camp want to play high school football, and we want their experience to be a good one.”

As for Rudolph, who earlier today learned he was named to the Watch List for the Maxwell Award, he is really excited to be at the camp.

“Coach (Rob) Glass knows really well the guy who coordinates it and coach Glass asked if I wanted to go, and the answer was yes,” Rudolph said.

“I can’t wait for this weekend. I’m going to learn as much as I can.”

Last season, Rudolph had the redshirt broken on his freshman season and finished the year leading the Cowboys to a win in Bedlam and over Washington in the Cactus Bowl. Rudolph threw for 853 yards in those three games that also included a loss on the road at Baylor. He had six touchdown passes and four interceptions.

“I’ve never been to the Manning Passing Academy as a camper, but I have always wanted to go as a counselor,” Rudolph said.

The staff also includes 120 coaches, creating a 10:1 ratio of campers to coaches. Approximately 80 of the coaches, all who have been participating since the earliest days of the camp, come from the high school and the small college ranks, and no coaches come from the major college ranks.

The camp supplements the high school and small college coaches with 38-40 college counselors, who are all starters with major college teams. Besides Rudolph, other college counselors for this year's camp include California QB Jonathan Goff, Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan, Houston QB John O’Korn and Southern California QB Cody Kessler.

The academy will attract campers from 47 states and Canada this year with the number capped at 1,200.

“I can’t wait for this weekend,” Rudolph added. “I’m going to learn as much as I can.”

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