Position-by-Position Analysis: Quarterbacks

Mason Rudolph knows that he now has complete control of the Oklahoma State offense for the first time since arriving on campus three years ago.

This is a feature we did post spring back in the days of Go Pokes Magazine. We would list every single player on the roster, including walk-ons, and give a short synopsis of where they fit in on the team and what the possibilities are for them in making significant contributions in the upcoming season.

We will do these by position groups and again. Remember, it is just our observations and opinions, based on what we have seen and what we have heard from everybody from head coach Mike Gundy through the coordinators, position coaches, and graduate assistants and support personnel.

We started with the specialists, Cowboy backs, running backs, and wide receivers. We now move to the quarterbacks. I can hear the apprehension of everyone out there wondering when are they going to cover the offensive line. Don't worry the blockers are next and since that is such a crucial and such a highly examined position group we chose to save them for last on the offense.

Quarterback seems to be in good shape. The starter is a known and a known quality. In fact, Mason Rudolph returns for his junior season as one of the top quarterbacks in the country. The question is depth and some of that was answered in the spring and some of that will be carried over into the summer and fall camp with the arrival of talented but true freshman Keondre Wudtee.  Wudtee will get his chance to compete for the backup position, but my guess is that line on the depth chart will continue to belong to Taylor Cornelius. 

Cornelius had a strong spring and performed really well in the spring game in front of the crowd. Remember though, he was going against the second defense most of the time. There is still time and plenty of it for John Kolar, who struggled some throwing the ball in the spring but could still wind up playing some in a package where he can use his athletic and effective running ability.

2 Mason Rudolph, 6-5, 235, Jr., Rock Hill (Northwestern), S.C.
Rudolph returned home to find out not only is he not the biggest trending football player in the family but it's not even close this week as younger brother and current Rock Hill Northwestern defensive end Logan Rudolph had a video he released last weekend go viral as it showed him chopping wood in an area near the family's home and he is wearing boots and some very short jean shorts. He announces in the video that he is committing to Clemson to play college football. I think Mason found it funny and I think he also knows that there could be a price to pay down the line when Logan arrives at Clemson. Let's just say that video will stand out for awhile. Mason stands out and, as mentioned above, is one of the best returning quarterback in the Big 12 and in the nation. He is physically stronger and was improved in all areas this spring. He is excited about some new wrinkles in the offense that will suit his talents and make the offense better. When you consider the difficulty Oklahoma State had rushing the football last season and you see that he threw for a 62.3 completion percentage and for 3,770 yards and 21 touchdowns with only nine interceptions then it is hard to realize what he could do with a decent running game making the defense play more honest. It is the hope that you get to see that next season. 

Rudolph has always been a leader since he arrived and he has his hands on the button of this team. They respect him, believe in him, and will back him in all situations. He needs to stay healthy and I think he will. He is smarter after last season's injury and he is very strong and stout thanks to Rob Glass. 

14 Taylor Cornelius, 6-6, 225, RS-So., Bushland, Texas
You have to go off practice and spring games with him as there is little sample size in real games other than the UTSA and Kansas games of last season. He is an excellent athlete and very smart. He can pass and is capable of running. He doesn't say a whole lot as he just does his job. I believe, if needed, he could win games.

9 John Kolar, 6-4, 200, RS-Fr., Norman (Norman North), Okla.
Kolar had some highlight runs in the spring, including a 50-yard scoring run in a scrimmage, but he struggled some in throwing the football. There's a good chance that he comes back stronger in the summer and into fall camp. He is a strong possibility to be used some in a package for the offense, maybe not as extensive as J.W. Walsh but something smaller than can be used as a change-up or surprise against the defense.

12 Gabe Neph, 5-11, 225, RS-Fr., Owasso, Okla.
The walk-on brother of Cowboy special teams and Cowboy back Cole Neph. Neph is a talented player who did a nice job last season running special teams some. It remains to be seen how much he can improve and get into the mix on the quarterback depth chart. 


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