WR Travis Rudolph
May 12, 2017
Q: With not being drafted and then the tragedy of what happened to your father, where is your head right now?
A: I mean, honestly, it doesn’t matter if I got drafted or not. I am just taking it in day-by-day and trying to get better as a person on and off the field.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your father? Was he involved in your career?
A: Yeah, definitely. He was the reason why I started playing football. As a young boy, probably starting from age four, he was going outside and throwing the football with me and everything and he was just there for every game that I ever played, so rest in peace, Dad.
Q: Did they ever explain to you what happened?
A: Yeah, the detectives told my mother that my dad was working in an adjacent room and I guess the guy grabbed the gun from the top shelf and it accidentally went off. That is all we know.
Q: How do you even respond to something like that?
A: Yeah, it was tough. I cried, I couldn’t believe it, but God makes everything happen for a reason. Like I say, you just have to move on.
Q: Had he worked at that place before?
A: He definitely worked there. He had been working there for the past three years since I have been in college. He had been there for a while.
Q: Was he planning on moving up wherever you ended up?
A: No, he was just telling me to stay focused and work hard and achieve my dreams and make them come true. That is all he was telling me.
Q: Do you remember your last conversation about football with him?
A: He was telling me to stay confident in myself because I know what I can do. He just said that he was very proud of me for everything that I had achieved so far and continued to achieve.
Q: What can you do for this team?
A: Just be a better person. Bring great leadership on and off the field and just show how to work hard.
Q: Are you a possession receiver, a deep threat or a combination of everything?
A: I feel like I am a combination of everything.
Q: Obviously this team can score a lot of points. What made the Giants an attractive spot for you?
A: I mean, honestly, I have been following up on the Giants for a while since Eli pulled off that great win against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl and then just watching Odell and Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard, those are all guys that I can look up to and find out how to be a great receiver.
Q: Which Super Bowl win?
A: The crazy catch with Tyree. Yeah, that was the Super Bowl that caught my attention with the Giants.
Q: Is there any concern with the talent at receiver on this team that it is going to be a challenge to make the roster?
A: Man, it is a challenge everywhere. I am confident in myself regardless of that fact. So I don’t care how many receivers are on the team or how many good receivers are on the team.
Q: Do you think that with the fame of going viral on social media that people really know you?
A: Yeah, a lot of people refer to that. A lot of people give me credit for doing what I did, even though I just see it as that is me. But a lot of people gave me credit for that.
Q: A lot of people get recognized on social media for bad things. For this to happen, it was a big deal, wasn’t it?
A: I mean, everyone else saw it as a big deal, so I guess I can take it as a big deal. But like you said, a lot of people get recognized for the bad stuff, but I like to be good.
Q: When did you know that it was going to go viral?
A: It blew up like right after the day I did it. The mom posted it on Facebook and at first it was right before I went out to practice and Derek Coles, he was the head athletic director at the time and he was taking us out to all of the community service events and he had given me the paper of what she wrote. When I got back, my phone was just buzzing with media, Twitter, everything.
Q: Was there any reaction that really surprised you?
A: I would say like getting 10,000 followers on Instagram, I was like, ‘Wow’.
Q: Any celebrity interactions that made you laugh?
A: I had a couple of NFL guys that hit me up on Twitter and congratulated me.
Q: It seemed like you had a lasting impact on that young man. Did he also have a lasting impact on you?
A: Definitely. Him just telling me that he loves me and just saying that I am his friend forever just put a smile on my face exciting him and his mother. They were both there for my draft party and just to see how happy he is around me is a great feeling.
Q: About seven years ago an undrafted free agent named Victor Cruz came here. Do you think that you have a chance to make an impact here?
A: Definitely. I definitely have a chance and like I said, I have confidence in myself and that is why I chose to come here. I know that they have great receivers, but I feel like I am a great receiver as well, so I have confidence in myself to make this team.
Q: Have you learned anything about yourself after this past month?
A: Just overcoming adversity. That is all that it is. Not being drafted and losing my father the week before. You just have to overcome adversity and prove everyone wrong.