Rudolph holds football camp
Former OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph held a football camp for 170 kids between ages 6 and 16 Saturday morning inside OSU’s Sherman E. Smith Training Center.
Mason Rudolph pointed to his right, then started backpedaling — cornerbackstyle, not quarterbackstyle.
With the biggest moment of his football life less than two weeks away, the former Oklahoma State gunslinger found himself briefly playing some impromptu defensive back against 6-year-olds Saturday morning inside OSU’s Sherman E. Smith Training Center.
It was the first of what Rudolph hopes is many youth football camps he will get to host as he nears the start of his professional career.
With players coming from as far away as Lawton and Altus, 170 kids between ages 6 and 16 ran through drills with Rudolph and various other camp instructors for nearly four hours.
And for mostly all of them, the highlight of the day was the same.
“Playing catch with Mason Rudolph,” said 9-year-old Zach, who traveled 85 miles from Newcastle in his Oklahoma State jersey for the opportunity.
While the temperature was in the low 40s, the indoor facility provided a break from the strong and chilly wind, helping to preserve a good environment for the camp.
Players went through offensive and defensive positional drills, and they all got a chance to catch passes from Rudolph, who is projected to be a potential first-round pick in the NFL Draft April 26-28.
The camp concluded with Rudolph heaving deep balls to the older campers, with some of his throws nearly scraping the rafters of the Smith Center.
Rudolph, who has long been committed to helping his community, was right at home with the young players.
“It was fun, man. It’s something I want to do here for years to come,” Rudolph said. “It’s cool to see the impact when you get all these kids to come out.”
The camp provided a break from Rudolph’s draft preparation, which has included multiple workouts and meetings with NFL teams over the last few weeks.
“It’s cool to just break away from everything else that’s going on in the world, especially with all the draft prep,” Rudolph said. “I’m excited to head home to South Carolina to see the parents, then end up getting drafted and start my next chapter.”
Though a few of the campers had particular NFL teams they wanted to see Rudolph selected by, the quarterback will have plenty of young fans following his career at the next level.
“I liked the drills we got to do with Mason, catching a pass from him,” said 12-year-old Tyler, from Owasso, who says he’s been an OSU fan since he was born. “It was fun. It was a dream come true.”
Former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph directs young players during a drill at Rudolph’s youth football camp Saturday at OSU’s Sherman E. Smith Center.