STILLWATER — When prep quarterback Luke Del Rio of Highlands Ranch, Colo., committed to Oklahoma State last week, he claims his mother, Linda, expressed more excitement than he did.
“Now I can hang out with Terri again!” Luke said enthusiastically, mimicking his mom's higher voice.
The “Terri” here is Terri Monken, the wife of OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken. That reaction is an example of how close the two families are, and why it was so easy for Luke to pledge to the Cowboys about a week after receiving a scholarship offer.
Luke is the son of Jack Del Rio, the former head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars who now serves as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. From 2007-10, Todd Monken was on the Jaguars' staff as the wide receivers coach.
During that time, the wives, of course, became great friends. So did Luke and Tyler Monken, Todd and Terri's son. And Luke said his dad still thinks of Todd as one of his all-time favorite assistants because of his intense and passionate coaching style.
As a young quarterback, it was only natural that Luke would hang around the players Todd was coaching when he frequented Jaguars practice. So Luke was constantly exposed to the completely uncensored version of Todd's fiery personality.
And it's a personality he gravitates toward.
“I just think in my head about every single practice, about how he was getting after guys, rookies especially,” Luke said. “He would ride them hard, but he would also let them know when they did it perfectly or were improving.