July 18, 2014
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — On the field and in the classroom, University of Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock is ahead of the game.
Rudock, a junior from Weston, Florida, led the Hawkeyes to an 8-5 record and a berth in the 2014 Outback Bowl during his first season as a starter. In 13 games, Rudock completed 59 percent of his pass attempts for an average of 183.3 yards a game.
In the classroom he is majoring in microbiology/pre-medicine, so one would assume his summer is filled with courses and homework. Not so.
“I do nothing, it’s great,” Rudock said Wednesday. “I don’t take classes. I’m ahead of the game and can actually take reduced hours the next three semesters, which is good for me. I use the summer to relax.”
When Rudock enrolled at the UI, he brought with him more than an accurate right throwing arm. He also moved in with several credits earned in high school. He attended summer school in 2011.
Currently, his only academic concern is tracking down a copy of The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam for when he takes the Medical College Admission Test.
“You guys are going to write what you want to write, ESPN is going to say what they’re going to say — the fact is, you can’t look at it because nobody knows until the end of the year. We have 12 guaranteed opportunities to play the best football we can, and it’s our job to make sure we start from the first game until the last. Nobody knows what is going to happen, and talk really is cheap.”
“They came out with the new MCAT book which I have to go out and buy because they are changing that starting next year,” Rudock said.
Time off is rare for Rudock. Spring break corresponds with spring practice; the end of fall semester corresponds with bowl preparation.
“Summer is the time to take a step back and look at football and enjoy life a little more,” he said.
For Rudock, that means golf, hanging with friends, and $5 movie nights Tuesday and Thursday.
“I’m a big movie guy. I love movies,” Rudock said.
Occasionally Rudock receives an invitation from several offensive linemen to join them on a fishing excursion. Being from Florida, Rudock has more experience deep sea fishing than wetting a line in fresh water creeks, lakes, ponds, or rivers.
“They always go fishing, and I’m not a good fisherman,” Rudock said. “It’s great team unity. It’s one big family.”
The teammates sometimes bond on the golf course where Rudock appears more comfortable than the linemen who protect him during football games.
“They are kind of surprised I can hit it better than them, but I’m a quarterback, and it’s in our blood that we’re supposed to be better golfers,” Rudock said with a smile. “They just try to rip it, but they have to have more fluency in their swing. They have good swings, but they use every bit of their muscle when they’re teeing off, that’s for sure.”
Summer is also time for college football watch lists and projections. It means next to nothing to Rudock: He finds out if a teammate has received preseason recognition by seeing photos on the team’s Instagram or Facebook accounts.
“You guys are going to write what you want to write, ESPN is going to say what they’re going to say — the fact is, you can’t look at it because nobody knows until the end of the year,” Rudock said. “We have 12 guaranteed opportunities to play the best football we can, and it’s our job to make sure we start from the first game until the last. Nobody knows what is going to happen, and talk really is cheap.”
What he does know is that his Hawkeye teammates are fired up for the 2014 season.
“Guys seem pretty hungry; that is one of those things that is really important,” Rudock said.