Like many prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, Rudolph grew up in a football family. His father, Brett, played at North Carolina in the 1980s. His brother, Logan, is a top 200 recruit that committed to play outside linebacker for Clemson starting in 2017. That background and support helped him excel in high school, where he was a finalist for South Carolina's Mr. Football Award as a senior (4,377 passing yards, 64 touchdowns, eight interceptions). It was expected that Rudolph would take a redshirt in 2014, but the Cowboys' starter fell to injury late in the year. He played in three games, starting two, led the team to a comeback win over rival Oklahoma. Rudolph was OSU's MVP in 2015, starting 12 games (missing most of that year's Bedlam due to injury), completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 3,770 yards and 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In his junior campaign, Rudolph stood tall in the pocket and earned honorable mention all-conference honors, distributing the ball to either sideline, as well as down the field, for 4,091 yards (ranking eighth in the FBS) on a 63.4 completion rate with 28 touchdowns -- but throwing just four interceptions in the process. While Rudolph is a pocket passer, he also had six rushing touchdowns in 2016. Rudolph finished his career by winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Sammy Baugh Awards while earning second-team All-Big 12 recognition. He led the FBS with 377 passing yards per game (4,904 total), completing 65 percent of his passes, finishing among the nation's leader with 37 touchdowns while throwing just nine interceptions.