Posted: 9:53 am Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Cardinal Newman’s Rudolph sticks with FSU 

By Jodie Wagner

Travis Rudolph never wavered in his commitment to Florida State after announcing his decision Jan. 2.

The Cardinal Newman wide receiver was hotly pursued by more than a dozen Division I college football programs, including Florida, Miami, Alabama and Auburn.

Ultimately, he chose FSU and stuck with his decision despite continued interest by UF and other schools.

“I just told them at the end of the day, Florida State was where my heart was at,” said Rudolph, who was flanked by his parents, Darryl and Linda, as he signed his national letter of intent Wednesday.

“I appreciated the opportunities, but Florida State is where I want to be.”

Rudolph said his official visit to the FSU campus Nov. 2 helped push him in the Seminoles’ direction.

He verbally committed Jan. 2 during the second quarter of the Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

“When I first got to campus, I just felt like that was where I would like to be for the next three or four years,” he said. “I got a vibe from all the coaches and players. It was a good atmosphere.”

Rudolph, who set school records at Cardinal Newman with 1,237 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior, hopes to compete for playing time immediately with the Seminoles.

Florida State lost two of its top three wide receivers in the off-season, as senior Kenny Shaw moved on and Glades Central’s Kelvin Benjamin, a redshirt sophomore, declared for the 2014 NFL Draft.

“He’s going to get on the field,” Cardinal Newman coach Steve Walsh said. “Physically, he’s ready. More importantly, emotionally, I feel he’s ready. He did it here. He played on all these big stages, showcase events. He’s been with the best athletes, he’s excelled.”

Travis Rudolph (center) prepares to sign a national letter of intent with FSU as his parents Darryl (left) and Linda look on.