Aug. 10, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- During Jake Rudock's sophomore year of high school, the University of Iowa stormed into his home state and defeated South Carolina, 31-10, in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
Both of those trips left a favorable impression on Rudock, one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation last season. He prepped at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale.
"It helps more than you think," Rudock said. "Just having the team in your back yard and flipping on the television and seeing them 20 minutes away from you and you having the opportunity to go see the game really impacts you. Especially winning the Orange Bowl, that's the biggest one that impacts you."
During Rudock's four seasons of high school, the Raiders compiled a varsity record of 48-2 with three state championships and two national titles. He was the starting signal-caller for 31 of those wins and he holds school records with 5,082 career passing yards and 73 touchdowns. Unlike high school, Rudock is now at the bottom looking up at the Hawkeye quarterback depth chart. But returners James Vandenberg, John Wienke and A.J. Derby have made the transition to camp an easy one.
"Coach (Kirk) Ferentz is just wonderful and coach (Ken) O'Keefe is a great offensive coordinator. The fans...(Kinnick Stadium) is sold out every single game and you can't go wrong with that."
UI freshman quarterback
"They've been teaching me a ton and taking me under their wings and making sure I understand things," Rudock said. "If I have a question they have no problem with me going to them and trying to figure it out to make sure everything runs smoothly."
Rudock has spent his first few college practices trying to make quicker reads of what the defense is bringing at him, as well as doing his part on helping the team come together as one unit.
Blessed with a strong, accurate throwing arm, Rudock also has ambitious academic aspirations. He isn't decided on a major, but he wants to study pre-medicine.
"The med school here is one of the best in the nation and hopefully one day I'll be there," Rudock said.
The Hawkeye football program is also one of the best in the nation. The past three seasons the UI has won 28 games, with three consecutive bowl victories. During that 39-game span, the Hawkeyes averaged 363.2 yards of offense per game, while opponents were held to less than 300 yards a game.
"Coach (Kirk) Ferentz is just wonderful and coach (Ken) O'Keefe is a great offensive coordinator," Rudock said. "The fans...(Kinnick Stadium) is sold out every single game and you can't go wrong with that."
Rudock participated in his first practice inside Kinnick on Tuesday afternoon. Once he caught a glimpse of numerous seat-backs installed in the stadium, he was struggled to relax and focus on the task at hand.
"That gets you excited for the season," Rudock admitted.
The Hawkeyes completed their sixth practice of the preseason Wednesday morning; they will return to the Kenyon Football Practice Facility this evening. Iowa opens the season Sept. 3 against Tennessee Tech inside Kinnick Stadium.