University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Elder High School
Rudolph's comparisons to New England's Rob Gronkowski are inevitable. Both are blessed with that impressive combination of great size, strength and deceptive speed, along with displaying tremendous ball skills when attempting to snatch football out of air.
However, both are linked in another fashion – injuries that sidelined them during their sophomore and junior campaigns.
Regarded as the best tight end to suit up for the Irish since the glory days of Mark Bavaro (1981-84), he carries on the storied tradition of Notre Dame tight ends who have excelled in the trenches, as he's favorably compared to the likes of Bavaro, Dave Casper (1970-73), Ken McAfee (1974-77), Derek Brown (1988-91) and John Carlson (2004-07), all who went on to star in the National Football League.
Despite playing in just 29 games for the Irish, Rudolph ranks fourth all-time among Notre Dame tight ends with 90 receptions for 1,032 yards. His career-best 33 catches during his sophomore campaign placed seventh among tight ends on the school's season-record chart.
He set the Irish game-record for tight ends by gaining 164 yards vs. Michigan in 2010, as his eight receptions in that contest rank second among ND tight ends on that same game-record list. He also boasts having the second-longest catch of any Irish player, coming up with a 95-yard snatch in that Michigan clash.
"I believe that Kyle is the best tight end in the country," Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist said. "I honestly believe that. He provides a great deal for us and he's incredibly explosive. He's great in the run game and great in the pass game. Kyle really does it all. He's a great leader and huge part of this team and part of this offense."
At Elder High School, Rudolph earned All-American first-team honors from USA Today and Scout.com. He was considered the nation's top tight end by Rivals.com, Scout.com and Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report. He was one of five future Notre Dame players named to the EA Sports All-American squad and was the lone tight end among the finalists for the 2007 high school Maxwell Award.
Rudolph was named the second-best player and top tight end in the Detroit Free Press' Best of the Midwest Top 20 list and rated the 20th-best overall prospect in the country by Tom Lemming. Both Rivals.com and Scout.com afforded him five-star prospect rankings, as he placed second on Rivals' Ohio Top 50 squad. Sports Illustrated rated the tight end as the nation's 23rd-best overall prospect.
The Associated Press All-State choice added All-Southwest Ohio honors in each of his last two seasons. He was also chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio after his senior campaign, closing out his career with All-Conference and All-City accolades.
As a junior, Rudolph caught 30 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns. He added 37 receptions for 673 yards and eleven scores as a senior. During his senior season, he made four catches for 57 yards, including two touchdowns, to help Elder defeat Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, 41-34 in overtime, ending Independence's 109-game winning streak (at the time, Independence was ranked third in the nation).
That season, Rudolph also gained 111 yards receiving and a touchdown to help the Panthers knock off powerhouse Moeller High School. He caught five passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns in Elder's 49-34 victory over Cleveland Benedictine, as he helped lead the team to the playoffs where they lost in the first round to the eventual state champions.
Rudolph was also an accomplished basketball player who played center for his high school team. He was named his conference's Player of the Year three times and All-South-west Ohio in 2007. He is still ranked as the second-leading scorer in school history and became just the second Panther to surpass 1,000 career points.
Rudolph set the school record for most career rebounds when he corralled his 568th rebound on January 11th, 2008. In the Moeller High clash (opponent was rated the best basketball team in Ohio and ninth in the nation) on January 25th, 2008, he scored 25 of Elder's 52 points as the Panthers almost upset the top-ranked team in Ohio, 58-52.
Rudolph joined the Irish program in 2008, becoming the first freshman to ever start a season opener at tight end for Notre Dame. He would go on to start all thirteen contests, earning Freshman All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report. He finished fifth on the team with 29 receptions for 340 yards (11.72 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns. He also saw brief action on defense vs. Boston College, recording a 3-yard sack.
The following season, Rudolph appeared in ten games, missing the Pittsburgh and Connecticut contests with a shoulder separation, undergoing surgery in mid-December that would sideline his off-season training for three months. Even though he lost time, he still placed third on the squad with a career-best 33 receptions for 364 yards (11.03 ypc) and three scores.
Rudolph received All-American honorable mention and All-Major Independent first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report. He was also the only sophomore named a 2009 John Mackey Award semi-finalist and would be the only tight end on that list to return to college for the 2010 campaign.
A consensus All-American first-team pick entering the 2010 season, Rudolph was limited in fall camp with lingering effects from shoulder surgery and also hobbled by hamstring woes. His hamstring issues continued during the first half of the season, as it eventually tore away from the bone while playing vs. Pittsburgh.
Rudolph would undergo surgery on October 15th, 2010, bringing his junior season to an end with 28 catches for 328 yards (11.71 ypc), including three touchdowns, after six games. Despite missing the team's final seven contests, he was still named a semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award.
Rudolph stared 28 of 29 games at Notre Dame, becoming the first tight end to make a debut as a starter for the Irish and the first freshman to start every game in his first season at the university (2008)…Registered 90 receptions for 1,032 yards (11.47 ypc) and eight touchdowns, adding a pair of solo tackles that included a 3-yard sack…Ranks fourth among Irish tight ends with his 90 receptions, topped by Ken MacAfee (128; 1974-77), Tony Hunter (120; 1979-82) and John Carlson (100; 2004-07)…Also ranks fourth among Notre Dame tight ends with 1,032 yards receiving, surpassed by Ken MacAfee (1,759), Anthony Fasano (1,102; 2003-05) and John Carlson (1,093)…His 33 receptions in 2009 rank seventh, his 29 catches in 2008 rank ninth and his 28 snatches in 2010 are tied for tenth among Irish tight ends on the school season-record chart…Set the team game-record for tight ends with 164 yards receiving vs. Michigan in 2010, topping the previous mark of 155 yards by Anthony Fasano vs. Purdue in 2004…Rudolph's eight receptions in the 2010 Michigan clash are the second-highest total in a game by a Notre Dame tight end, ranking behind Ken MacAfee's nine receptions vs. Purdue in 1977…His 95-yard touchdown catch vs. Michigan in 2010 was the longest by an Irish tight end and second-longest overall in school annals. Only Joe Howard (96 yards vs. Georgia Tech, 1981) had a longer reception for Notre Dame and Rudolph's 95-yarder topped the old tight end record held by Mike Creaney (78 vs. Pittsburgh, 1970).
A consensus All-American first-team preseason selection, Rudolph is rated the best tight end prospect eligible for the 2011 draft by The NFL Draft Report…Semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end, despite missing the team's final seven contests after undergoing surgery when he tore his hamstring away from the bone in the Pittsburgh clash…Originally suffered the hamstring injury in fall camp and was limited in the Stanford and Boston College games before shutting down for the season…Was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week and Rivals.com Independent Player of the Week for his record-setting performance vs. Michigan…The Lombardi Award Watch List selection started the first six games, as his 28 receptions still ranked third on the team, despite missed action in the second half…His 28 catches are tied for tenth on the school season-record list for tight ends…Gained 328 yards (11.71 ypc) with three touchdowns, including a 95-yarder vs. Michigan that was the longest catch by a tight end in school history and the second-longest overall reception by an Irish performer…Also recorded one solo tackle…Caught 28 of 49 passes targeted to him (57.14%), as the opposition deflected three of those tosses…Recorded thirteen first-down grabs, but converted just 5 of 20 third-down throws (25.0%)…Had eleven catches for at least ten yards, including two for 20 yards or longer…In addition to his three touchdown snatches, he had key receptions that set up five touchdown drives and on one possession that resulted in a field goal…Six of his catches came inside the red zone, including two on goal-line snaps…Broke free from the initial tackler on four receptions and was penalized once (vs. Stanford).
All-American honorable mention and All-Major Independent first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report…Was the lone sophomore to be named a semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award and was the only player on that list to return to school for the 2010 season…Was voted by his teammates to represent tight ends on the Irish Leadership Committee...Totaled 275:59 of playing time and made 57 special-teams appearances, as he started nine of ten contests that he appeared in, missing the Pittsburgh and Connecticut clashes after undergoing surgery to repair a shoulder separation…Came off the bench vs. Stanford and ranked third on the team with a career-best 33 receptions, the seventh-best season total by an Irish tight end…Gained 364 yards (11.03 ypc) with three touchdowns, as seventeen of his receptions resulted in first downs…Named Mackey Award National Tight End of the Week for his performance vs. Michigan State…Averaged better than 10.0 yards a catch in five games (Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Washington, Boston College).
Freshman All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report…Started all thirteen games for the Irish, become the first freshman to accomplish that feat…Was also the first tight end to ever make his debut as a starter for the Irish…Finished fifth on the team with 29 catches, the ninth-best season total by a Notre Dame tight end…Generated 340 yards (11.72 ypc) with two touchdowns…Also saw brief action on defense, recording a 3-yard sack in the Boston College encounter.
2009 Season…Sat out the Pittsburgh (11/14) and Connecticut (11/21) games after suffering a shoulder separation…Underwent surgery to repair his labrum on December 18th, as his rehabilitation process limited him in 2010 spring and fall camp.
2010 Season…Suffered a hamstring pull in August camp…The injury would linger throughout the first half of the season, as he limped through the Stanford (9/25) and Boston College (10/02) clashes before his hamstring tore away from the bone in the Pittsburgh game (10/09)…Underwent surgery to repair his hamstring on October 15th, missing the team's final seven contests.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.64 in the 40-yard dash…1.59 10-yard dash…2.66 20-yard dash…4.35 20-yard shuttle…
11.94 60-yard shuttle…7.25 three-cone drill…33-inch vertical jump…9'4" broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…32 7/8-inch arm length…9 5/8-inch hands.
Attended Elder (Cincinnati, Oh.) High School, playing football for head coach Doug Ramsey…Earned All-American first-team honors from USA Today and Scout.com…Was considered the nation's top tight end by Rivals.com, Scout.com and Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report…One of five future Notre Dame players named to the EA Sports All-American squad and was the lone tight end among the finalists for the 2007 high school Maxwell Award…Named the second-best player and top tight end in the Detroit Free Press' Best of the Midwest Top 20 list and rated the 20th-best overall prospect in the country by Tom Lemming…Both Rivals.com and Scout.com afforded him five-star prospect rankings, as he placed second on Rivals' Ohio Top 50 squad…Sports Illustrated rated the tight end as the nation's 23rd-best overall prospect…The Associated Press All-State choice added All-Southwest Ohio honors in each of his last two seasons…Was also chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio after his senior campaign, closing out his career with All-Conference and All-City accolades…As a junior, Rudolph caught 30 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns…Added 37 receptions for 673 yards and eleven scores as a senior…During his senior season, he made four catches for 57 yards, including two touchdowns, to help Elder defeat Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, 41-34 in overtime, ending Independence's 109-game winning streak (at the time, Independence was ranked third in the nation)…That season, Rudolph also gained 111 yards receiving and a touchdown to help the Panthers knock off powerhouse Moeller High School…Caught five passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns in Elder's 49-34 victory over Cleveland Benedictine, as he helped lead the team to the playoffs where they lost in the first round to the eventual state champions…Was also an accomplished basketball player who played center for his high school team…Named his conference's Player of the Year three times and All-South-west Ohio in 2007…Still ranked as the second-leading scorer in school history and became just the second Panther to surpass 1,000 career points…Set the school record for most career rebounds when he corralled his 568th rebound on January 11th, 2008…In the Moeller High clash (opponent was rated the best basketball team in Ohio and ninth in the nation) on January 25th, 2008, he scored 25 of Elder's 52 points as the Panthers almost upset the top-ranked team in Ohio, 58-52…National Honor Society member…Graduated with a 3.4 grade point average.
Enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business, majoring in Management Consulting… Oldest of three children of Jamie and Dan Rudolph…Born 11/09/89 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The book on: TE Kyle Rudolph
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