Ru­dolph holds foot­ball camp

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

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.

Scott Wright swright@

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