Clemson Football

Get ready to know Logan Rudolph because you're about to find out who he is

August 28, 2019
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Much like most of the defensive line that is about to take the field on Thursday night against Georgia Tech, the average fan probably doesn’t know a whole lot about Logan Rudolph.

A native of Rock Hill, SC., the returning defensive lineman has part of the honors of filling the massive shoes of the previous defensive ends that were in front of him. You may know them as Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, one of which was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

And most Clemson fans are well aware of one of the other defensive ends vying for a starting spot on this year’s line. Xavier Thomas has been, and will continue to be, a freak when it comes to shredding opposing offensive lines. His memorable hit against Syracuse’s Eric Dungey put Thomas on the map and was merely just the tip of the iceberg as the grounds of Death Valley vibrated on that September day.

For most of his career, Rudolph has been on the outside looking in. He has 16 tackles in 163 snaps throughout the 16 games in which he has appeared.

His head coach Dabo Swinney knows that not many people in the college football atmosphere have heard of Rudolph, the rising redshirt sophomore who missed time his freshman year due to a shoulder injury that put him out for the rest of the year. But they’re about to.

“Oh my lord, nobody’s game-planning for Logan Rudolph,” Swinney said on Monday. “Nobody knows who he is. But you will. That guy is a football player. He is a football player.”

Calling Rudolph a “football player” has to be one of the most basic descriptions Swinney has ever used to describe anybody. There’s much more to Rudolph that may meet your eye.

You may have heard of his older brother, Mason Rudolph, who was a stellar quarterback at Oklahoma State. In his final season with the Cowboys, Mason accounted for 45 touchdowns and was the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner, given annually to the country's outstanding senior college quarterback.

But Logan is probably most known for his hilarious, quick, and borderline absurd commitment video where he can be seen shirtless, chopping down a tree in cut-off jean shorts while rocking out to the Top Gun soundtrack. You can’t make this stuff up.

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables has always known that the four-star recruit has the need for speed. 

“Logan just plays fast,” Venables said earlier this August. “He is (249 pounds), but plays like he is 270 at every snap, and everyone knows what he looks like.”

That’s the one caveat to Logan’s game that most may be turned off by: his size. As Venables mentioned, he weighed at the beginning of August at 249 pounds, which is the lightest of any of the defensive linemen who are vying for a starting position.

Logan makes up for it with a high motor, a knack for attacking the opposition in a variety of ways until they fold. Similarly to another defensive end who was undersized at Clemson, but has made some of the biggest plays on Sundays - Vic Beasley.

At the 2015 NFL Combine, Beasley weighed in at 246 pounds, which was 10 to 15 pounds heavier than people expected. Beasley blew the breaks off the Combine and now is one of the league’s most productive defensive ends.

“I feel pretty confident at 245 pounds to get the job done. I don’t think it really matters how much you weight,” Logan said. “It’s just about your technique and how you can use your body. You can look at Aaron Donald and see that he plays pretty well and he’s probably the lightest tackle in the league.”

Logan knows his size could be viewed as a disadvantage on the outside, but he did note how comfortable he is playing at his current weight and how another high-caliber NFL lineman who was seen as “undersized” is doing just fine now.

“I feel pretty confident at 245 pounds to get the job done. I don’t think it really matters how much you weigh,” Logan said. “It’s just about your technique and how you can use your body. You can look at Aaron Donald and see that he plays pretty well and he’s probably the lightest tackle in the league.”

That Aaron Donald, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL, was only listed as a 285-pound defensive tackle when the Los Angeles Rams faced the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. In reality, Donald said before the Super Bowl that he was playing around 270 or 265, which is almost unheard of as a defensive tackle.

Donald helped reshape what that position looked like.

We’re not saying that Logan is about to put up similar types of numbers to the NFL’s best defensive player. Many Clemson players have been hyped up enough as it is.

But we are saying that a defensive lineman at that weight, similar to a Vic Beasley, could pack a major punch in 2019.

Like Swinney said, we may not know who Logan Rudolph is, but we are about to find out.

Get to know him.

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Get ready to know Logan Rudolph because you're about to find out who he is

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