Dabo Swinney admits, when Logan Rudolph called him recently to tell him he was quitting football to pursue an acting career, he was caught off guard.
“I was like, ‘Really?! That’s a first!’ I have not gotten that one before,” Clemson’s head football coach said.
News of Rudolph’s departure from Clemson broke on Jan. 30, after he informed Swinney he was leaving the program to pursue an acting career and was moving to Los Angeles. Though the timing of the news was a bit of shock, Swinney is not surprised that acting is what the 6-foot-2, 245-pound defensive end wants to do with his life.
“I guess he expressed it with all the videos that he makes and his alternate personalities … like Coach Stiff,” Swinney said. “That one really kind of caught me off guard because he has two years of eligibility left. He is a really good player. He is just a gritty, tough, hard-nosed player. He had a good year.”
This past year, Rudolph played in all 15 games and started nine of them, while helping the Tigers make a return trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship. He started in the title game against LSU.
Rudolph recorded 26 tackles last season, including five tackles for loss while sharing the starting spots with Xavier Thomas and Justin Foster at weakside and strongside defensive end.
“He called and said it has been something he has been thinking about. He said he had a blast this year and he had a lot of fun,” Swinney said. “He has his degree and he is kind of beat up. He was pretty beat up.
“He is an undersized guy at his position, so it takes a little bit of a toll. He is an all-in guy. There is just one speed with him in everything he does. There is just one gear. I think with him, again self-awareness and knowing he had his degree and looking ahead. His mindset was maybe I get into a practice squad situation. That is not really what he is driven by.”
Because of the way Rudolph does everything, Swinney has no doubt his former defensive end will be successful. The Clemson coach mentioned former Tiger Jock McKissic, who lives in Los Angeles and has been in a lot of movies and television shows, as someone Rudolph needed to reach out to.
Rudolph was already one step ahead of Swinney, though, and told him he had already reached out to the former defensive lineman to get his advice.
“We talked about it and had a really good conversation. I told him not to forget about me when he gets famous,” Swinney said. “He is going to be successful. If that is what he wants to do, that guy right there, he will find a way. That’s his DNA and that is how he is wired.”
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