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Rudolph, Washington Explain Decision to Return to OSU in 2017

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On Tuesday, members of the Oklahoma State offense (along with offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich) met with the media in San Antonio ahead of their Thursday night Alamo Bowl matchup with Colorado.

But the hottest topic of conversation had nothing to do with the Buffaloes. This was the first chance for Mason Rudolph and James Washington to speak since announcing they would both be returning for their senior seasons in a video posted by OSU’s Twitter account earlier Tuesday.

As soon as the media availability kicked off, the first question posed to the dynamic duo was about their decisions to come back.

“Yeah, I think it was a long thought-out decision with both myself and James, I think,” said Rudolph. “We were in pretty similar positions. I think both of us, we know we can compete at that level. That’s going to be next year. If we made the jump this year I think we would have both been ready, but we also know just what college means to us and what we’ve been enjoying, we’ve been enjoying these first three years, and we know the tremendous talent and opportunity we have next year coming back.

“We’re both really looking forward to not only this game and capping off the season right with an Alamo victory, but also just a great off-season, just making sure that we are improving our game mentally and physically and then just kind of putting an exclamation point on both of our careers.”

“Just basically like he said, just come back and have another year with our brothers,” Washington added. “I look forward to coming back and having another year with him and everyone else, and plus we get degrees. It’s worth it, so why not. But yeah, pretty much covers it, what he said.”

The two are responsible for the Cowboys’ 10th-ranked passing attack. Rudolph with 3,777 yards (8th nationally) and 24 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Washington is the 12th-ranked receiver at 1,209 yards and brings nine touchdowns into the duo’s third straight bowl game together.

Mike Yurcich knows how lucky he is to have his two best players returning.

“There’s a lot to it, and you would have to ask them, but I would suspect they understand what all returns and what’s at stake for us,” said Yurcich. “We all want as coaches, we all want to manufacture camaraderie and create camaraderie, but you can’t. It has to come within the players and they have that. It’s special, and I don’t think they want to let it go. They’re having fun.”

The two juniors were asked if they sought input from each other when deciding to forgo a chance at being drafted this spring.

“We both kind of talked with each other and coaches and kind of came up with the idea that it would be best if we both came back to just get another year of experience,” said Washington. “It wouldn’t hurt. But yeah, I’d say it’s between both of us.”

Rudolph concurred.

“Yeah, I’d say we both obviously consulted with our families and whatnot and close friends, but we made the decision that was best for both of us but to be able to do it together and to talk throughout the whole process, it was great. Yeah, like I said, we’re excited for the future.”

OSU fans should be as well.

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