STILLWATER — Mason Rudolph admits he was a bit surprised when he got that first Facebook message from Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich in February or March, then a scholarship offer during their first phone conversation.
“I've definitely known the tradition at Oklahoma State the past 5-6 years with (Brandon) Weeden and (Justin) Blackmon and that type of powerful offense,” Rudolph said. “I definitely knew who they were, but it was still kind of strange and out-of-the-blue, because I had never gotten a piece of mail, anything from them.”
But that out-of-the-blue initial contact quickly turned into serious interest from both sides. And now Rudolph is the Cowboys' newest commitment, as the three-star prospect from Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern High School announced Wednesday he had chosen OSU over LSU and Virginia Tech, among other schools.
“(After that first conversation with Yurcich), it was more, ‘Oh, it's cool to get an offer from them, but I'll never be going there. It's a ways away,'” Rudolph said Wednesday. “But after I kind of took a visit out there, it was great. Being there for the spring game, it was an awesome thing.
“Between the coaches, the facilities, the game feel, it just really seemed like a good fit.”
Rudolph's commitment helps fill arguably OSU's biggest need for the 2014 recruiting class. The Cowboys did not sign a quarterback in 2013 after Luke Del Rio decommitted and opted to walk on at Alabama when former offensive coordinator Todd Monken left OSU to become the head coach at Southern Miss. Then Wes Lunt announced he was transferring after spring practice.
And Rudolph's decision comes two days after OSU lost out on top-ranked quarterback prospect Kyle Allen, who had the Cowboys in his top five college choices but instead committed to Texas A&M. Rudolph said he knew OSU was also targeting Allen, but that Allen's decision to go elsewhere did not factor much into his choice.
“To be honest, I really didn't know where I was going (Monday),” Rudolph said.
A casual Google search quickly reveals why Yurcich would be immediately interested in Rudolph. A website dedicated to Northwestern coach Kyle Richardson's summer camp is called GoAirRaid.com, referring to the exact version of the spread offense that the Cowboys currently run.