Going on the Offensive

Stuck in a dead period of recruiting, St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Jacob Rudock decided to hit the road. Traveling with his dad to the Midwest, Rudock got an up close and personal look at three Big Ten schools, including an important stop at Wisconsin.

MADISON - Coming off a grueling baseball season, Jacob Rudock was ready to get back into the swing of things, ready to regain the zip on his football fastball and restart his college recruitment.

Problem was the high-profile signal caller was stuck in a dead period, where the only contact college football coaches could make was by letter.

So Rudock became proactive. If the coaches weren't going to come to him, the 6-foot-2 quarterback was going to go to them. Flying out with his dad for a Father's Day adventure, Rudock went for unofficial visits at Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, getting a closer look at three of the six schools that had offered him a scholarship.

"I wanted to be back in football mode," Rudock told Badger Nation. "During baseball season, you are in baseball mode, but (football is) always in the back of your mind. That's one of the things about being a two-sport athlete."

Rudock, who led St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) to a 13-1 record as a junior, threw for 1,945 yards, 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions, a main reason Wisconsin Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst targeted him early.

The Badgers have offered only two other uncommitted 2011 throwers and with Rudock arguably their top target, it was no surprise for Chryst to be anxious to work with him on his visit.

"Through the whole process, I get the feel that you get more trust with each coach, especially Coach Chryst," said Rudock, who worked with Chryst late Sunday night. "If you really need anything, you can just give him a call. It doesn't matter what it is, he just wants to help out."

Spending about 36 hours at each stop, Rudock headed to Illinois and then Iowa before venturing up to Madison, getting a different feel for each stop on his tour.

"Iowa is more along the lines of a football city and that's what it is," Rudock said. "Iowa City used to be the capitol, but they chose to keep the university there rather than the capitol. That tells you a lot about the people, and that's something I didn't know.

"Illinois … the history in the stadium itself. The columns (on Memorial Stadium) represent a person from Champaign that died in World War II. It's kind of spooky thinking about it, but it's really historical, and I like that part."

In addition to Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, Rudock has offers from Colorado, Memphis and Minnesota.

Not planning on attending camps this season, Rudock has done some light throwing at each of his stops, getting a feel for how the offensive coordinator runs his offense and a feel for the surroundings.

"The towns are really neat," Rudock said. "They are pretty special and kind of similar in a way. It's a lot different than south Florida. Each town really loves their team, which is a good thing to know. All of that will help me choose where I decide to go."


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