Sports Illustrated released their list of the top-100 college football players in 2017 and two Oklahoma State players made the list; quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington.
Mason Rudolph came in at No. 34 ahead of some other big name quarterbacks like
Rudolph could have jumped to the NFL this off-season after throwing for more than 4,000 yards with a 28–4 touchdown-interception ratio in 2016. Instead, he returned to Stillwater to inherit a cast of perimeter weapons with no equal in the Big 12. Senior wide receiver James Washington is a chore to defend on deep routes, but Rudolph will have an assortment of alternatives even if Washington isn’t open, like upperclassmen Jalen McCleskey and Chris Lacy, LSU transfer Tyron Johnson or Marcell Ateman, who returns after missing last season due to foot surgery. Oklahoma State is going to put up a ton of points, and Rudolph will be responsible for a large share of them.
There are big expectations for No. 2 after a junior season where he went for 4,091 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just six interceptions and led Oklahoma State to a 10-3 record.
James Washington came in at No. 10, and the top ranked wide receiver.
Why is Washington still in college? Oklahoma State fans certainly won’t complain and neither should other college football fans whose teams don’t have to face the 6’1”, 205-pound sensation. Washington has 2,467 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in the past two seasons, and now gets to team up with quarterback Mason Rudolph for another prolific season. The senior is a consistent big-play threat and knows how to use his body to win contested passes. With the trust Rudolph has in Washington, the duo is bound to make plenty of highlight-worthy connections this season.
Washington is the Biletnikoff front runner this season after a 1,380 yard, 10 touchdown junior campaign.
There are big expectations for the Cowboys this season, and those fall on the shoulders of the two best players. For good reason considering how good they have both been for the past two years.
I don’t know about you, but this just makes me wish it was college football season that much more.