Quarterback Luke Del Rio (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian) has known for quite some time that Oklahoma State was the place for him. He called Oklahoma State his dream school.
So when the Elite 11 finalist picked up the offer from the Cowboys last week, the hardest part of his recruiting process centered around patience. He didn’t want to make a rushed decision, and his father, former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, advised him to think everything over in an effort to weigh all options.
On Thursday, Del Rio decided to make his dream school a reality and verbally committed to Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback chose the Cowboys over offers from Oregon State and Colorado State and interest from schools such as Alabama, North Carolina, Florida State and USC.
“When I first sat down with my dad and mapped out where I possibly wanted to go, my first school was Oklahoma State,” Del Rio said. “When I got the offer a week ago, I was done, but I slept on it, prayed about it and talked it over with my family.
“I met with my coaches [Wednesday], and we decided it was a perfect fit. I love [Oklahoma State’s] style of offense. I love [offensive coordinator] Coach [Todd] Monken and [head] Coach [Mike] Gundy. I feel so happy and blessed to be going there.”
Del Rio first let the public know about his decision Thursday morning via social media, as he announced his verbal pledge on his Twitter page, @Ldelrio12. He became Oklahoma’s eighth commit of the 2013 recruiting class and the program’s first quarterback commit. Del Rio, additionally, is expected to graduate high school early and be in Stillwater, Okla., by January.
A move-in from Jacksonville, Fla., Del Rio is coming off a 2011 season where he threw for 2,530 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior at Episcopal High School. Del Rio further put himself on the recruiting map after being named MVP at the Elite 11 regional in Columbus, Ohio, in May. He will participate in the national competition in Redondo Beach, Calif., from July 18 through July 22.
Del Rio, who enrolled at Valor Christian in February, said he is a big fan of Oklahoma State’s passing game. He also has had a longtime relationship with Monken, who was an assistant coach under Jack Del Rio with the Jaguars from 2009-10.
“Waiting [to commit] was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life,” Luke Del Rio said. “I was so excited when I got the offer, and I didn’t want anyone else to jump in front of me. I love the coaching staff, I love the weather in Oklahoma, and I love the southern hospitality. I’ve lived in the south most of my life, so I had been missing it.”
Del Rio said moving to Stillwater and away from his family shouldn’t be a problem. He has lived in 18 different homes in seven cities. He was born in St. Paul, Minn., and also has lived in New Orleans, Baltimore, Charlotte, Miami, Jacksonville and Denver. He lived in Jacksonville the longest, residing for nine years.
One more move shouldn’t be a problem, particularly when it’s to the place he said he’s always wanted to go. Once he arrives on campus, Del Rio said he has one goal – to build his own football legacy.
“Because of my dad, with the position he’s in, I’ll always get noticed. At the same time, I want to be my own person,” Luke Del Rio said. “I don’t want to be there just because of the name on my back. I’m proud to be my dad’s son, but when I go, I’m trying to make a name for myself.”