While Oklahoma Sooners QB Baker Mayfield might come away with the Heisman Trophy (and his Sooners might end up making the College Football Playoff), Oklahoma State Cowboys QB Mason Rudolph still managed to come away with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given to the nation’s top senior quarterback.
On the season, Rudolph has managed to rack up 4,553 passing yards, 35 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions. For all it’s worth — and it should be worth quite a bit — the Cowboy also had 10 rushing touchdowns on the season.
Here’s what Rudolph had to say about winning the prestigious award, according to ESPN:
“Winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is a meaningful honor for me because this is a reflection of how I was raised,” Rudolph said. “I was taught from a young age that there is more to life than football and I’m thankful to the committee for selecting me. I am humbled and thankful to everyone who helped me get to this point.”
As the ESPN article mentioned above pointed out, this award is about more than what a player does on the field.
The award takes into account success on the field and also notes that winners are “judged on their character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, and leadership qualities.”
As one can expect, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy only had good things to say about Rudolph (via kfor.com):
“Mason represents our football program the right way. He’s won a ton of games for us. He’s played with broken ribs, he’s played with a broken foot and he’s been tremendous for this school and tremendous for society,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said. “I had a conversation with his mom and dad and told them for everything that he’s done (on the field), as a parent, you should be more proud of what he’s done (in the community). He’s awesome.”
Thanks to Rudolph, the Cowboys averaged the most passing yards in the country this year with 392.3 passing yards per game. They also averaged the third-most points in the nation with 46.3 points per contest.
Rudolph helped lead Oklahoma State to a 9-3 record during the regular season, with the team’s only losses coming against the TCU Horned Frogs (ranked No. 16 at the time), Oklahoma (ranked No. 5 at the time) and Kansas State Wildcats. The cowboys knocked off two ranked opponents this season in the West Virginia Mountaineers (ranked No. 22 at the time) and Iowa State Cyclones (ranked No. 21 at the time).
Rudolph & Co. should enter bowl season with quite a bit of momentum. They might not be playing in the College Football Playoff, but Rudolph still managed to win a major award, the team had another good year and Oklahoma State won its last game by the score of 58-17 against the Kansas Jayhawks. In that contest, Rudolph threw for 438 passing yards and two touchdowns.
While the playoff picture is still unclear (even with the regular season in the books, and conference title games going down this week), one thing is certain: Rudolph was the perfect choice for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.