One-on-One With Luke Del Rio

Luke Del Rio spoke with GoPokes.com about his decision this week to commit to Oklahoma State and head coach Mike Gundy. The 6-2, 190-pound quarterback becomes the eighth commitment in the class of 2013. Here is our question-and-answer session with the the son of Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and former head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

When did Oklahoma State begin recruiting you?
Del Rio: They started recruiting me about a month ago. Todd Monken came out to see me throw but he hadn't seen all the quarterbacks he wanted to see yet, and I wouldn't expect him to handle it any differently. But he offered me on Saturday, and I waited until today to commit, even though I wanted to on Sunday. My dad told me to sit on it, sleep on it, and pray about it. I did all those things, and knew I couldn't wait a whole week to commit. I waited four or five days but knew this is what I wanted to do, so there was no need to wait any longer.

You and your dad both attended last season's Bedlam victory. How much of a factor did that game have on your decision to commit to OSU?
Del Rio: Of course, that game left a good impression on me. Just seeing the campus and falling in love with it, seeing all the coaches in person and talking to them, and seeing the players and talking to them, and then the facilities, which are incredible, incredible facilities, and the people and the outstanding support they receive were all factors in my decision. Of course, Coach Monken also played a huge part in the decision. I've known him since I was 10 or 11 years old, and know what a great coach he is and how he can help me develop as a quarterback.

Did the OSU coaching staff say they were only taking one quarterback in this recruiting class?
Del Rio: Coach Monken told me they were only going to take one quarterback, and I wanted to be that one. There was no need for me to wait or delay my decision.

I'm sure you are aware that Mike Gundy has named true freshman Wes Lunt as the starting quarterback. How did that impact your decision-making process?
Del Rio: Obviously, I committed to Oklahoma State knowing about the quarterback situation. Wes is obviously a great quarterback. I'm going to do everything in my power to compete with him once I get on campus, and do my best to learn the playbook as quickly as possible. In my opinion, the best player at each position earns the starting spot, and you have to earn that starting position each and every year. If I happen to come in and start as a freshman, that doesn't mean I would automatically start the next year but that I would have to earn the starting job again.

How did you reach the decision to commit to OSU?
Del Rio: We sat down for about two hours … me, my dad and my head football coach (Brent Vieselmeyer at Valor Christian High School), and talked about each of the schools, what they offered me, what I was wanting, and the decision that I reached was that no school could beat out Oklahoma State. When we started naming the schools, it was always, ‘No, they can't top Oklahoma State.' The next school, ‘No, they can't top Oklahoma State.' The next, ‘No.'

What schools are you talking about?
Del Rio: Alabama, Auburn, Colorado State and Oregon State.

Why is Oklahoma State the place for you?
Del Rio: First of all, the coaching staff. I can't think of a better coaching staff in the country. Coach Gundy's style and philosophy is perfect for a quarterback who likes to throw the football, and I believe it will help prepare me for the next level. Coach Monken is also a great coach and, as I said earlier, I've known him since I was 10 or 11 years ago. I love the campus, the southern feel to it and the college town atmosphere. I'm from the south and just love the southern feel of Stillwater.

How's you dad feel about your decision?
Del Rio: At the end, he said, ‘It's your decision.' He's glad I knew what I wanted, and I went after it.

Today is May 31, and that means there are still eight months before you can actually sign with OSU. Is there a chance other schools can still sway your decision before next February?
Del Rio: Absolutely not. I'm not going to be a fair-weathered commit. I'm here to stay. I'm not going to be one of those who says he commits, and then de-commits, and then commits again, and then de-commits. I've made up my mind. I know I made the right decision.

Any chance you'll start helping recruit other prospects?
Del Rio: Yes, sir. I'm going to be a disciple for OSU, and try to get as many great recruits as we can.

Will you graduate in December and be an early enrollee, and be participating in spring ball next year?
Del Rio: Yes, I will.

Do you have a message for OSU fans?
Del Rio: Whether I'm starting or not starting over Wes Lunt, I'm going to be a great teammate. I'm going to be a hard worker and great teammate, and you're not going to be disappointed.


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