Del Rio made the Elite 11 list despite not necessarily being considered one of the best 11 in the nation coming into the year, according to the rankings of recruiting services such as Scout.
Del Rio has an advantage because of his background as the son of former NFL head coach and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, and all he has seen and experienced credits his versatility to helping him achieve the top status at the camp and competition.
"The playbook had a variety of plays," started Del Rio. "They had play-action, they had roll out, five-step drop, seven-step drop, three-step drops, one-step drops. No matter what kind of quarterback you were, you were getting worked in departments you weren't comfortable in. They wanted to make you uncomfortable and make you work on your skill set.
"Once I saw the roll out plays, I was excited because I know that some of the guys that didn't work on it or ever throws off the run might struggle," continued Del Rio. "I was excited to show the coaches what I could do."
There was not just on the field work and mental work in meetings and studying, but there was also conditioning work as they worked out with a U.S. Navy Seal team to test their fitness and mental toughness. "That was unforgettable," said Del Rio.
At what point was Del Rio starting to believe that he was going to finish in the Elite 11?
"The drill work you can see who has the cannon of the arm and who is athletic, but once you get into the seven-on-seven of it you see what is the thought process, how are they funtioning with the playbook, how do they work through progressions, and how they read coverages and when they (defense) are rolling to a certain coverage how do they attack it," he said.
"Once that started you really saw who was going to make it and who wasn't going to. I felt like I did great on the seven-on-seven all week long and I know all the players made it tough on Coach (Trent) Dilfer and the staff."
Del Rio said he roomed with Brice Ramsey, who he has known for awhile because he dates Del Rio's sister. Ramsey is committed to Georgia. He also hung out with Christian Hackenburg, who is currently committed to Penn State. He also said he got to know Max Browne, Cooper Bateman, and Tyler Swoopes really well.
Del Rio wrapped up saying he spoke with Todd Monken for close to an hour the other day and that he is rock solid on his commitment to Oklahoma State. He said that Monken and Mike Gundy had good advice for him and that was to have fun throughout his senior season in high school and that to make sure football stays a game and stays fun for him.
Del Rio still calls Oklahoma State his dream school, but Oklahoma State fans will say it is a dream of theirs to land an Elite 11 quarterback. To our knowledge, Del Rio is just the second Elite 11 quarterback to commit to the Cowboys with the first being Bobby Reid out of Galena Park North Shore in the 2004 recruiting class.