On Mondays, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph likes to get away for a quiet lunch. He goes off campus to a restaurant on the outskirts of Stillwater, usually with a teammate, and he gets away from the hustle and bustle of campus and being pointed at or stopped or stared at all the time.
It's a great time to relax and feel like he's not on a stage. Rudolph also enjoys a good steak. When school is out it is even easier and with Mike Gundy's bowl practice schedule of two days on (having practice) and one day off, then the time to get away is built in.
Monday was good for that lunch and Tuesday is a great day to return to the practice field, which the Cowboys did at 3:35 that afternoon.
Rudolph told us last week that he did submit his request to the NFL for a draft evaluation and he will receive that after the bowl game and in time to review it before the final day to declare for the NFL Draft. But the junior from South Carolina doesn't seem to be in a hurry to leave Oklahoma State, and he is resolute coming off the Bedlam loss that the Cowboys will be prepared and will be heading to San Antonio to the Alamo Bowl to collect their 10th win of the season. He is also anxious to have some fun and San Antonio will be a new experience.
"I've never been to San Antonio. I've been to Houston and Dallas, but those are the only places I've really ever been to in Texas," Rudolph said. "I have a good buddy from down there so I'll meet up with him, check the city out and enjoy the time."
Rudolph is like any other highly competitive player and he doesn't want the season to end on a sour note. It did last season and with his foot injury there wasn't much he could do about it. This season he can do something about it and the weather inside the Alamo Dome is definitely going to be conducive to passing the football.
"It's always fun whenever you get to send your seniors out on a good note with one final game," Rudolph said. "You get to spend another month with these guys and enjoy all that time together. It's a good reward for the team to look forward to."
For a player that will be seeing his NFL Draft evaluation when he gets finished with the bowl, he will get somewhat of an evaluation in the game against Colorado, which has a very good defense with an excellent edge pass rusher in outside linebacker Jimmie Gilbert, who had 9.5 sacks this season and a secondary where three of the four starters are viewed as NFL prospects and collectively had 10 interceptions and held opponents to 187 yards a game passing.
"We've watched a good bit of them this past week and they have a very physical defense and some pretty physical corners," Rudolph said. "They play well all-around, but especially in space, so it's going to be a challenge. I think we've been challenged all year and I think we've grown a lot from where we were back in August and I think we're up for the challenge."
As well as a good lunch or two in the Alamo city.