FSU, ex-Cardinal Newman star Travis Rudolph officially in NFL draft


Travis Rudolph, Florida State’s leading receiver in 2016 and a former Cardinal Newman star, seemed to confirm Thursday on social media that he was going to enter the upcoming NFL draft. On Friday he finally confirmed his intentions and said why he chose to forgo his senior season.

Rudolph led FSU in receptions (56), receiving yards (840) and receiving touchdowns (seven) in 2016 as a junior.

FSU did not announce Rudolph’s departure Thursday. But his choice was initially reported by Tony Pauline of Draftanalyst.com and was confirmed by a source to The Palm Beach Post. He formally announced on Friday his intentions to enter the draft.

“After carefully considering my options with my family, I have decided that it would be in my best interest to enter the 2017 NFL Draft,” Rudolph said. “This was a very difficult decision and one that I didn’t take lightly. It has truly been an honor to wear the Garnet and Gold.”

Rudolph said he appreciated coach Jimbo Fisher, receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey and FSU administrators for helping him mature on and off the field.

“I would like to thank Coach Fisher and Coach Dawsey for the way they developed me as a player, but most importantly, as a person,” Rudolph said. “I also want to thank the football support staff, academic staff, and student-development for all the hard work they put in to make me an all-around better person in the classroom as well as in the community.”

The decision means that FSU will lose its top four pass catchers from 2016. Kermit Whitfield and Jesus Wilson were seniors and tailback Dalvin Cook turned pro a year early.

Despite the losses, FSU has a group of talented receivers — and Nyqwan Murray (27 catches, 441 yards, 5 TDs) and Auden Tate (25 catches, 409 yards, 6 TDs) gained extensive experience in the second half of 2016. The Seminoles also can mix in Da’Vante Phillips, George Campbell, Keith Gavin and true freshman D.J. Matthews.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Rudolph led the Seminoles in receiving the past two years. He finishes in eighth place in FSU history in receiving yards (2,311). Rudolph also had 153 catches and 18 touchdowns.

Rudolph gained national publicity in September when he and several teammates visited Montford Middle School in Tallahassee. During the visit, Rudolph sat down with Bo Paske, a student with autism, who was sitting alone in the school’s cafeteria. Paske’s mother posted on Facebook a photo of her son and Rudolph eating together and praised the player’s kindness. The story quickly went viral.

He is listed as a fourth-round pick in a seven-round mock draft by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller. Rudolph will need to use the NFL combine, pro day and personal workouts to increase his value to NFL teams.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

LSU football stock report: Deep passing game, pass rush shine in spring game
LSU football stock report: Deep passing game, pass rush shine in spring game

BATON ROUGE, La. — Spring games aren’t usually a great place to learn much about a football team, but a few nuggets of wisdom worked their way through the pomp of LSU football’s spring game on Saturday. Quarterbacks Justin McMillan, Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan rotated between the first and second teams, switching...
Nearly 200 recruits attend Penn State spring game, including new commit Caedan Wallace
Nearly 200 recruits attend Penn State spring game, including new commit Caedan Wallace

Rutgers basketball lands transfer in former 4-star Texas recruit Jacob Young
Rutgers basketball lands transfer in former 4-star Texas recruit Jacob Young

UCF unveils ‘national champions’ addition to stadium during spring game
UCF unveils ‘national champions’ addition to stadium during spring game

This just in — UCF still won’t give up on its self-proclaimed “national championship.” On Saturday, the Knights held their spring game at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, their first since going 13-0 in 2017 and arguing that — despite having been excluded from the College Football Playoff — they were, in...
Despite injury, Penn State’s Sean Clifford maximizes extended reps at QB
Despite injury, Penn State’s Sean Clifford maximizes extended reps at QB

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Trace McSorley played all but the final series of the first half, and in doing so the Penn State defensive linemen were praised for their ability to keep the Nittany Lions quarterback unscathed. That wasn’t Penn State’s plan until the injury situation became more clear this week. “Our guys do...
More Stories