In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a talented defender adds to Miami’s edge rusher collection: Cincinnati (OH) Taft 4-star EDGE Elias Rudolph.
Looking to add talent and depth along the defensive line, Miami turned their recruiting attention to Cincinnati (OH) Taft EDGE Elias Rudolph.
A long, lean edge rusher, the 6’4” 215 Rudolph has the build, and athleticism, of a blue chip recruit. Playing for Taft, Rudolph has long been one of the top players at his position and in the entire State of Ohio.
Rudolph is a two-time 1st team All-State selection in Ohio for his sophomore and junior seasons, and was named the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. The stats that earned Rudolph those accolades: 87 tackles and 17 1/2 sacks in 2022. Very, very impressive performance.
Along the way through his back-to-back 1st team All-State seasons, teams from all over the country jumped into Rudolph’s recruitment with scholarship offers. Rudolph’s recruitment really picked up following his junior year, with unofficial visits to Florida State, FAU, Miami, and Tennessee.
During the spring of 2023, Rudolph moved to Florida, and transferred to Deerfield Beach HS. That school has been a fertile recruiting ground for Miami. But, while Rudolph was there, he started taking official visits. After OV’s to Michigan, Miami, Ohio State, and Penn State, Rudolph committed to the Wolverines in July.
But, despite that commitment, and his move BACK to Cincinnati Taft (weird, but whatever), Miami continued to recruit the talented edge rusher. After an unofficial visit to Coral Gables at the end of July — just before the recruiting dead period — Rudolph reconsidered his commitment to Michigan. And, two weeks after that visit to Miami, Rudolph flipped his commitment from Michigan to Miami.
Rudolph’s senior season didn’t go to his hopes, unfortunately. After being an unstoppable, unblockable force early on, Rudolph injured his arm/shoulder in Taft’s 2nd game of the season. Before the injury, Rudolph was seen beating double teams for TFLs, sacks, and even a strip sack that he recovered and returned for a touchdown. A 3rd consecutive All-State season seemed on the horizon, but the injury curtailed that from happening.
On the 247sports composite, Rudolph is a 4-star prospect, the #27 EDGE nationally, #12 in the State of Ohio, and #334 player overall in this class.
Rudolph committed to Miami over robust list of 24 scholarship offers from around the country, which included named finalists Michigan, Ohio State, Pitt, and Penn State.
As A Player
At 6’4” 215lbs (or 6’5” 215lbs depending on which site/report you favor), Rudolph has a perfect build for a high-end, dynamic edge rusher. He’ll need to gain some weight down the line, but he has a perfect frame for the position.
Leaning back on the end of the bio section, an area for concern is Rudolph’s arm/shoulder injury. Hopefully, he’ll be able to recover from that and have a healthy career at Miami. But, having an injury like that cut his senior season to just 2 games is a noteworthy event.
Rudolph’s biggest strength is his quickness and speed off the edge. Whether going around the outside, or cutting back underneath the Tackle, Rudolph is a force to be reckoned with as a pass rusher. Rudolph’s ball get-off and quick twitch is top notch, and the foundation for the majority of his on-field success.
Like many other players of his size, Rudolph will need to gain weight and strength moving forward at the college level. If Rudolph can get north of 235lbs, that would be a win for him and Miami. Some players have been able to make that physical transformation...and others haven’t. This is an area where his arm/shoulder injury will be impactful, as that can affect the ability to lift weights. Again, it’s worth watching.
Rudolph is someone who defends the run almost on accident. He’s always going for the QB, and sometimes, he’ll run into the RB on his way to get the QB. That’s great! We love TFLs! But, he’ll need to improve his technique and ability in this area to find consistent playing time in college.
- Pass rushing ability
- Arm/Shoulder injury as a senior
- Needs to add weight
- Run defense
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a couple years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
Rudolph is a premium, blue-chip edge rusher and joins a Miami defensive line that is stacked with guys who have the potential to get after the QB. Even with that being the case, he might be up there with the most pure pass rush ability of the entire group.
The biggest thing that will need to be figured out is the arm/shoulder injury — not specifically disclosed by his HSFB coach but enough to keep him out for the year — and his timeline for recovery. That, combined with the need to add weight and strength, point to Rudolph redshirting in 2024.
Beyond that, the sky is the limit for Rudolph. He’s a high-ceiling/low-floor prospect. He has all the physical talent and potential in the world, and if he’s able to put it together, he could be All-Conference (or better). But, if he’s not able to get it going, he could follow a similar path to someone like Cyrus Moss, who never played a meaningful snap at Miami and transferred out after only 2 years. Either of those extremes, or anything in between, could be Rudolph’s career path at Miami. Suffice it to say that it will be at least a couple of years until we really see which way things are going for him in Coral Gables.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.