MANKATO, MN - Kyle Rudolph didn't need his senior year, to prepare him for the bright lights of the NFL. Three years starting at Notre Dame was plenty.
"In college the spotlight is always on Notre Dame", Rudolph recalls. "You're always the center of attention. To come from a program like that, it doesn't get much tougher, no matter where you go."
But this is not Notre Dame. Rudolph is earning his way in the NFL, as a rookie tight end for the Minnesota Vikings.
"In college you have a few guys you need to worry about, but once you get to this level you have to bring it every play. The guy across from you is just as good."
Rudolph has been impressive at training camp in Minnesota.
"He's big. He can get out of his breaks. He has good hands." All compliments from Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
Rudolph is in a potentially good situation in Minnesota. Their receiving situation in a state of flux, the VIkings need to get good hands on the field, even if that means putting Rudolph on the field at the same time as stating TE Visanthe Shiancoe.
"That's something we would love to do", Rudolph says of the two TE set. "Other teams in the NFL utilize two TE sets and it really creates mismatches."
In the meantime, Rudolph is going about his business, as a first year pro. And the Vikings are trying to find the best wayt to use him.
"We'll try to put him in a good position to be successful", says Musgrave.
Kinda like he was at Notre Dame.