Guiding light

photos by Jason Elmquist/Stillwater News Press Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph celebrates after scoring a rushing touchdown during Saturday’s game against Baylor. Rudolph also had three touchdown passes in OSU’s 59-16 beatdown of the Bears.

Mason Rudolph was a busy man during the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ North Central Area Awards Banquet on Sunday night in Oklahoma State’s Wes Watkins Center. A large crowd attended the North Central FCA Area’s lone fund-raising event.

Rudolph, OSU’s record-setting quarterback, helped present awards to high school and junior high students while also featured in a question and answer session with North Central FCA Area Representative John Talley. In addition, he posed for numerous photographs with students and supporters.

The 6-foot 5 Rudolph, a member of OSU’s FCA organization who has given his time to speak at schools and churches, recently participated in the 2018 National Football League Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, earlier this month. He discussed the combine during his visit with Talley.

“I know when I used to watch the combine I always thought the players would show up and throw a few passes and that would be it but it was an intense four days,” said Rudolph, winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award and the Bobby Bowden FCA Award.

He said the players went through the usual physical tests and threw a variety of passes but they also were tested to check their retention of information they were given. The players were evaluated on how they responded when things weren’t handled in a speedy fashion. They waited with numerous other players for MRI procedures.

“They watched how you reacted to all the things you went through,” Rudolph said. “At the MRI, there were probably 20 of us waiting for the test with only two machines. Last year, one guy walked out of the test because he got tired of waiting.”

Rudolph said having teammates – wide receiver Marcell Ateman, safety Tre Flowers, wide receiver James Washington and wide receiver Chris Lacy – at the combine made it more enjoyable.

According to the NFL Scouting Combine website, Rudolph is projected to be drafted in the second round during the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. But, a mock CBS Sports mock draft has Rudolph being drafted 21st by the Baltimore Ravens.

Prior to the question-and-answer session, Rudolph and Talley presented certificates and Bibles to Rising Stars, active junior high FCA members from Stillwater and the North Central Area. All-State honors were presented to high school FCA leaders from Stillwater and the area by the duo.

State FCA Director John O’Dell and other FCA state staff members attended the event. O’Dell was an all-state football player at Cushing, where his dad –the late Faye O’Dell – coached. He began working with the FCA in 1977 and became state director in 1994.

On a personal note, another highlight of the evening was visiting with several longtime friends and acquaintances, many who are loyal supporters of the local FCA.

Ron Holt is a sports columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Holt served as sports editor for more than 30 years and resides in Bixby.

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