Wednesday is the second day of Oklahoma State spring football for 2017 and on the offensive side of the ball head coach Mike Gundy and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich are looking to see veteran Mason Rudolph improve and, at the same time, they are looking for the future quarterback and maybe a role for that player this upcoming season.
Day two of spring football for the Cowboys in 2017 will come up tomorrow. The schedule is compressed for this first week as the players will be eager to get out of town on Friday for the start of spring break and the next practice, the fourth of the spring will not be until March 21, the Tuesday after spring break concludes. No word on what Mason Rudolph will be doing for spring break as he often lets his followers know on his Twitter. We do know that this spring for Rudolph is going to be more fundamental in nature.
"I'm working on a lot of little things," Rudolph said. "Yes, I'll be kind of a coach some to the younger guys, but I'm looking to work on my steps, my execution in all phases of the throwing game and my continued efforts to be ahead of the defense and know how and where to attack the other team."
Rudolph also made it clear that while juniors can work out on Pro Day for the NFL coaches and scouts that he won't be doing that.
"I'll be watching and supporting our guys, but that (his workout) can wait until next year when it is time for that," Rudolph said.
"Mason (Rudolph) is going to get a limited number of reps this spring, so that will give all of those guys an opportunity to do things," said head coach Mike Gundy. "There is never enough reps to go around for the quarterback position though, because unlike those other positions there's only one guy out there."
With Rudolph getting less reps, but a lot of work overall with the areas he is striving to improve in, there will be reps for the younger quarterbacks and Gundy and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich aren't just looking for the back-up behind Rudolph or the quarterback of the future for the offense, they are looking for somebody to jump in and contribute some this upcoming 2017 season as kind of a change-up or a package quarterback.
Gundy liked the system that then involved veteran quarterback J.W. Walsh as the short yardage or score zone quarterback. That may not be what winds up happening here. It could be a package for the back-up quarterback just designed to show something different to the defense and force the opposing defenses to work on that material each week in preparing for Oklahoma State.
"We would like to come up with a package like we had with J.W. (Walsh) for one of them. I would like to do that forever if we had the option, but we didn't have that person last year," Gundy said. "I think we have a couple of guys that meet that criteria and that could be successful in that style of play. What that will do is give them some added reps in practice and games and potentially help us solidify who will be the No. 2 guy. (Keondre) Wudtee obviously has had a great offseason and (John) Kolar has had a great offseason. John is a lot different than what people think. He came in at about 130 pounds, jokingly. He looked like he was about 130 pounds, but his body has developed and he looks like he may be able to fit that role. We're looking to establish a backup quarterback and maybe somebody that can be a short-yardage guy for us."
Gundy was asked about the freshman quarterback that enrolled at mid-year in Jelani Woods, who lead his Cedar Groves High School team to a state championship in Georgia and is really a big guy, really big."He's at 253 (pounds) right now. He's a big man," Gundy answered when asked about Jelani. "What's encouraging about Wudtee, Kolar, and even on a short note with Jelani is that they're extremely competitive. Our February running program that Rod Glass puts our team through, which I've said I would probably quit if I were involved in an offseason program like what Coach puts our guys through. Our high school players, including Jelani - he should be thinking about who he is going to take to the prom and getting out of school and going to lunch with his buddies - but he went through our running program and he did very well and made it through all of it, so that's good news."
Quarterback will be very interesting, with Rudolph, and behind the starter as competition will be heating up.