Elder tight end and Notre Dame recruit Kyle Rudolph is one of the top players in Ohio's class of 2008 and is representing the Buckeye State well in San Antonio this week as a member of the East squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Matt Natali spoke with Rudolph and got his thoughts on the Bowl and his fellow Notre Dame recruits playing in the game.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Rated as the top tight end in the class of 2008 by Ohio High magazine and the No. 7 end in the country by ESPN.com, Cincinnati Elder’s Kyle Rudolph is well-deserving of his roster spot on the East squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
And he is enjoying every moment of his time in San Antonio with the top players in the country.
“It is a lot of fun being around all these guys and the level of competition. Practice is going well and today we got to come out here and have a little fun and just get after it,” he said about Wednesday morning’s skills competition.
Rudolph (6-7, 240) is one of five players representing the Buckeye State this week as an All-American after reeling in 30 catches for 544 yards (18.1 average) and 10 touchdowns in his senior campaign at Elder (7-4).
“I am just down here to have fun and get to know all these guys. It is a great honor to be here in the first place and being with all these guys (playing) at your same level with you is a lot of fun, especially at practice and getting up to speed,” he said.
Rudolph was a Division I first team All-Ohio selection this year and was also named to the USA Today All-American team last week. But he is taking all the attention stride.
“I am staying humble about all of it and not letting it get to me. All those accolades are great and everything but we are all working for the same thing. We are all going to be freshman again next year once we get to college and we’re all trying to get on the field,” he said.
Rudolph is also getting the opportunity to get better acquainted with some of his future Notre Dame teammates as he will be suiting up for the Blue and Gold next year.
“I knew most of them but there are a few guys down here that I got to meet for the first time,” he said. “It is really making me look forward to go to college. They are really good guys and we have kind of formed our own little clique down here. I am really looking forward to spending a lot of time with everyone (in college) because everyone really seems like a really good person.”
And Rudolph is looking for to getting to South Bend to try and help the Fighting Irish rebound from a dismal 3-9 season.
“They had a real young team this year and they had a lot of young guys get a lot of really good experience. We’re all really looking forward to getting up there and working for the same good cause,” he said.
Rudolph is a taking a break from basketball season to participate in the All-American festivities but will hit the hardwood again after returning from San Antonio before training for his college career.
And he credits his success to the opportunity to attend Elder and take the field for the Panthers in high school.
“(Elder head coach Doug Ramsey) and all the guys on the staff did a really good job getting me to be the best I could be. Going into high school, people didn’t really see me as becoming an All-American or anything but they embraced me and got me to where I am now,” he said.
Notre Dame Recruits Participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
QB Dayne Crist (6-5, 228) Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
LB Anthony McDonald (6-3, 225) Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
WR Michael Floyd (6-3, 200) St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derhan Hall
DL Ethan Johnson (6-5, 265) Portland Garland
TE Kyle Rudolph (6-7, 240) Cincinnati Elder
WR John Goodman (6-4, 220) Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Dwegner
RB Jonas Gray (5-10, 215) Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day
DB Robert Blanton (6-1, 185) Matthews (N.C) David W. Butler
LB Steve Filer (6-4, 220) Chicago Mount Carmel
DL Brandon Newman (6-1, 300) Louiville Pleasure Ridge Park
OL Mike Golic, Jr. (6-4, 270) West Hartford (Conn.) Northwest Catholic
OL Lane McClelland (6-5, 275) Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh
LB Darius Fleming (6-2, 219) Chicago St. Rita
DL Sean Cynar (6-4, 283) McHenry (Ill.) Marian Central Catholic