STILLWATER — Kyle Richardson half-jokes that he's been an expert at the Air Raid spread offense longer than Oklahoma State has been running that system.
Which is why it makes perfect sense that the coach's current quarterback at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C., three-star prospect Mason Rudolph, committed to the Cowboys last week.
“It's a match made in heaven, really,” Richardson said.
Richardson talked Friday about what makes Rudolph a special quarterback, how Rudolph's film got in OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich's hands and what he wants to see out of Rudolph in his senior season.
Rudolph has said that OSU got into the recruiting mix late. What was your reaction when you found out the Cowboys had finally expressed interest?
Our kids play all over the place, but Oklahoma State has never been in our doors and sat down or anything like that. But I sent his film link to about eight schools that run this system. I knew Todd Monken, because he was at LSU when I was at Southeastern (Louisiana as an assistant coach). I sent it to him, but by the time it got there, he had left. To be honest with you, it was just sitting on file, and when Yurcich got the job, he went in and took all the quarterback film, whether they had been offered or not and just started watching it and he fell in love with Mason. He immediately picked up the phone and called and said, ‘Is this kid available?' And I said, ‘Yes, he hasn't chosen anybody yet.' He said, ‘I'll get on a plane next week.' And the next week, he was in my office.
It does seem like the ideal fit for Rudolph.
The terminology is almost identical. The practice (structure) is identical. He was comfortable with what he does now, so why change it? Even though it's a little farther away from home, why change it? That was his mindset. Obviously being a great kid and all that went into the recruiting process, but that was the card that the Oklahoma State coaches were playing with him is, ‘You're great at it, stay in it. You can get even better and get the chance to come win and maybe even take it to another level.'
What are the biggest qualities you look for in a quarterback to run this system, and how has Rudolph most displayed those?