We’re still waiting to see which new additions Florida State will welcome to Tallahassee on National Signing Day, but in the meantime, the ‘Noles today learned of one important player who will not back in the fold for 2017, according to reports. Receiver Travis Rudolph, of West Palm Beach, will be foregoing his senior season to head to the NFL.
Travis Rudolph/WR/Florida State will enter the draft. We'll have more later.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 12, 2017
The move is a bit of a surprise, as Rudolph is not projected by various draft sites to be a top pick. But, it is worth wondering if he is close to being maxed out in college, and ready to start making money in the NFL. Under the new CBA, the huge dollars made by NFL players come during their second contracts, meaning the faster a player can get through the first deal, and on to the second contract, the faster he can make tens of millions.
Rudolph somewhat of a boom-or-bust receiver, a player who tends to either explode or disappear, depending upon the game and opponent.
After a promising 2014 freshman campaign that saw Rudolph register 38 receptions for 555 yards and four touchdowns, he improved in 2015 to notch 59 catches for 916 yards and seven scores. He plateaued some in 2016, with 56 grabs for 840 yards and seven TD snags.
It’s certainly possible that Rudolph would have lost some playing time in 2017 to more talented upperclassmen, like Noonie Murray, Auden Tate, and Keith Gavin. The young trio was making a big push for playing down the stretch.
The ‘Noles also lose WRs Kermit Whitfield and Bobo Wilson for 2017, to graduation. FSU returns just 35 percent of its receiving yards from receivers.
On the positive side, FSU returns just five scholarship receivers, which should help the Seminoles in recruiting by virtue of being able to sell early playing time.