NCF On The Trail: Mason Rudolph

#AskLoogs: Rudolph on the move?

January, 17, 2014
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



It is interesting you should ask this question as we have had serious injuries to our QBs in the 2014 class for Under Armour All-Americans with four of our six going down this fall. Mason Rudolph (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) was at the top of our board as a replacement, but unfortunately he had a family commitment and had to decline. We were very disappointed because we feel he has a very high ceiling for development and wanted to see how he would stack up. He had a great Shrine Bowl week and showcased why he has likely been undervalued to some degree, which is fitting I guess as most QBs who have signed with Oklahoma State have fallen into this category as well and the Cowboys have had great success with those guys (Clint Chelf, Zac Robinson, Brandon Weeden, etc.). In fact, Rudolph is very similar in a lot of ways to Robinson is stature, style and delivery motion. We have continued to move Rudolph up the board through the evaluation process. Physically he has what you’re looking for and his frame is only going to fill out and get bigger. He has a live arm and while his methods can be somewhat unorthodox in terms of his release, it’s those very same methods that give him the ability to make difficult, off-balance throws or throws on the run. I don’t have a definitive answer for you on where he will end up in the final ESPN 300 rankings, but we like him and always have.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

December, 23, 2013
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Tis the season for state-title games and all-star games for many of the nation’s top recruits. Several Big 12 targets were on notice over the weekend, whether it involved playing for a state football ring or state bragging rights.

Two headlining events over the weekend were the Texas high school state championships in Arlington, Texas, and the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in Spartanburg, S.C. Here are some weekend highlights from both events in addition to news about an ESPN 300 running back and a three-star athlete considered to be a two-sport standout.

Big 12 signing day storylines 

December, 17, 2013
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Consider the countdown a go.

With 50 days from national signing day, a lot of questions about star players have been answered. Some questions, however, are still left to be answered.

Here are 10 signing day storylines that could affect recruiting classes throughout the Big 12:


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Carolinas event loaded with top prospects 

December, 16, 2013
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolinas consistently have proved to be one of the top areas in the nation to find gridiron talent. These two states in recent years have produced players like current Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall player in the 2011 class, and Georgia RB Todd Gurley. For the 2014 class, 22 players from these two states are represented in the ESPN 300, and several of them are taking part in the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas here this week.


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Team in transition: Oklahoma State 

November, 26, 2013
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Editor's note: New coaches inherit a blank slate and often, an empty house. But new coaches who take positions at schools rocked by scandal face special challenges. Here's a look at how Oklahoma State is rebounding from that situation.

Potentially damaging controversy graced its presence on the campus of Oklahoma State in September after Sports Illustrated unveiled a five-part expose on the Cowboys and how they were able to quickly build success with the football program. The series included interviews with more than 60 former football players and staffers past and present.


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Oklahoma State an uncelebrated success 

November, 14, 2013
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A potential conference champion is rarely considered an under-the-radar team. But in a Big 12 loaded with all kinds of attractive storylines, 8-1 Oklahoma State -- the team chosen as the preseason conference champion -- has taken a back seat to the other conference spectacles.

While the nation focuses on Baylor’s outstanding season, Oklahoma’s struggles and Texas’ resurgence from what once was called a tormented season, Oklahoma State plays the role of silent assassin.

The Cowboys might have been counted out after a loss to West Virginia, but they’ve won five straight and head into their game with Texas very much alive in the Big 12 race.

And recruits are noticing. Oklahoma State has a top-30 recruiting class for 2014, and it's hoping to land a couple more players to crack the top 25.


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Big 12 class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the Big 12 conference, check out our conference rankings:

1. Texas, 24 commits: The Longhorns check in at No. 7 in the RecruitingNation class rankings with the headliners being No. 79 overall Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Williams J. Brennan High), No. 119 Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City High) and No. 138 Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/John H. Guyer High). Texas, which currently has seven ESPN300 commits, has its sights set on No. 31 overall Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell High), No. 13 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen High) and No. 25 Jamal Adams (Lewiville, Texas/Hebron High).

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Big 12's 2014 impact freshmen 

September, 25, 2013
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More than ever we are seeing a growing number of freshmen make instant impacts across the college football landscape. Here is a look at a few freshmen that could make a difference for their respective Big 12 programs in 2014.


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Oklahoma State commits in full support 

September, 11, 2013
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Hours after Sports Illustrated released a report on Tuesday alleging that former Oklahoma State players received improper funding from coaches and boosters, ESPN 300 running back Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) delivered welcome news to the Cowboys faithful.

“Pokes, ride or die,” Thomas said.


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag

August, 23, 2013
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This week’s Big 12 recruiting mailbag takes a look at a recent Iowa State transfer, a few Oklahoma State topics and when the Longhorns’ 2014 class will start reflecting its “DBU” ways.

John Goorsky (Ames, Iowa): What are your thoughts about the recent addition of D'Vario Montgomery to the Cyclones?

William Wilkerson: I think it’s a very important pickup for Paul Rhoads and the future of the program. Montgomery should transfer seamlessly given his history with Cyclones starting quarterback Sam Richardson. The two were high school teammates in Winter Park, Fla., where Montgomery was a two-time all-state selection with 21 touchdown receptions as a junior and senior.

Not only will it benefit them immediately but it also helps give someone like ESPN 300 receiver Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) more incentive not to look elsewhere. Just because Lazard is committed to ISU right now doesn’t mean schools are going to stop pursuing him. If anything they’ll come after him harder. Having Montgomery on board, as someone who could take some attention of Lazard in future packages, could entice Lazard to stay put.

Robert Thomas: What will Oklahoma State have to do to move into a top 25 class?

WW: Keep doing what they are doing and live up to the expectations that have been placed on them for the upcoming season. It’s really that simple. If the Cowboys win like they should, the recruits will come. They especially need to win the marquee matchups at home, when their sidelines should be packed with official visitors. Getting guys like ESPN 300 receivers Malachi Dupre and Cameron Sims on campus to see the renovations around the football facilities would be huge.

Mike Gundy has recruited well in-state so far, with the commitments of Devon Thomas and Gyasi Akem, the two Broken Arrow teammates. The Cowboys are still in the mix for four-star safety Steven Parker, as well. Getting a commitment from any three of these recruits would greatly increase their chances of finishing with a top 25 class.

@pt2479: How good can @RichardLagow be in this system?

WW: If the transfer quarterback from UConn is given the opportunity, I think he could be productive. He’s larger than most of the quarterbacks that have come through Mike Gundy’s system, but that’s not to say he wouldn’t be capable of moving the chains like others before him.

The Cowboys recruited him out of Plano (Texas) High School in 2013, so there must have been some inclination that he could work out in the system, even though a scholarship offer was never extended. He was actually going to be working in more of an up-tempo offense at UConn this season as the Huskies transition from a pro-style offense. But he’s going to have to beat out some stiff competition after he redshirts this season. Class of 2014 commitment Mason Rudolph (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) is the No. 7 pocket passer in the nation.

@1jaydub: When does Texas start focusing on DBs for 2014 to get back to DBU Football?

WW: Defensive back has been a focus of Texas’ coaching staff from the jump. They just haven’t gotten the commitments ... yet. They’ve got two commitments in four-star CB Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and three-star safety Jason Hall (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie), a former Nebraska commit. But some big dominos are about to fall that will tell the tale.

John Bonney (Houston/Lamar) surprised Texas’ staff last weekend with a visit. He wants to commit somewhere before the season. ESPN 300 safety Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), who has long had Texas No. 1, will decide sometime during the season after he takes some official visits. ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) will officially visit Texas this fall. And the Longhorns still feel like they are in the mix for ESPN 300 CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen). If the Longhorns get any of these four they’ll feel much better about where things stand.

Big 12 recruiting storylines: Aug. 22 

August, 22, 2013
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A slow week of recruiting took a turn for the better for Oklahoma State on Wednesday. The Cowboys landed a 2014 commitment and also found out a 2013 three-star player was transferring from the East coast.

Oklahoma State highlights this week’s Big 12 storylines, but there’s also news about West Virginia and top 2014 and 2015 players who could be big-time Big 12 assets.


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As we inch closer to the start of the college football season, wins and losses are going to be important -- not only for bowl-game consideration but also to keep current commitments interested.

Several 2014 athletes have pledged to Big 12 programs, and it’s up to the conference's schools to keep those athletes committed. Here are must-keep recruits for each team, athletes who can impact their respective classes.


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Cowboys land four-star S.C. QB

June, 5, 2013
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Oklahoma State scored arguably its biggest commitment of the 2014 recruiting class on Wednesday, as four-star quarterback Mason Rudolph (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) verbally committed during a press conference at his school. Rudolph confirmed the commitment via text message.

The nation’s No. 8 pocket-passing quarterback, Rudolph chose Oklahoma State over LSU and Virginia Tech. He also had Ole Miss and Louisville offers and interest from several other programs.

A 6-foot-4, 212-pound gunslinger, Rudolph threw for 4,010 yards and 41 touchdowns, and he also completed nearly 70 percent of his passes. Rudolph was an all-state selection and is considered one of South Carolina’s most heralded recruiting targets.

Rudolph is ranked No. 4 in the state of South Carolina.

Tales From the Road: LSU 

June, 5, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Home-field advantage is supposed to go to the local team.

But at the Columbus, Ohio Elite 11 on Saturday, it was advantage LSU.

LSU head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had sons participating at the Elite 11, which gave them a loophole and allowed them to attend the event. The Elite 11 normally allows parents but prohibits college coaches from attending.


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