Highlights from Oklahoma State QB commit Luke Del Rio during Elite 11 ESPN special
Part 1 of ESPN’s two-part special on the Elite 11 Finals aired Tuesday night. Oklahoma State commit Luke Del Rio was featured on the show as one of the 25 quarterbacks vying to be named one of the top 11 high school signal-callers in the country following an intense five-day camp in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Here are some highlights:
It did not take long for Del Rio to make an appearance. During the opening credits, he says, “I came here to be the MVP. I won’t settle for anything less.” He’s also the first interview of the show, saying that “everybody came in a little nervous, but more excited than anything.”
Former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, the head coach of the Elite 11, meets the contenders shortly after. “I’m looking for players that have the potential to dominate the next level and have an NFL-caliber ceiling,” he says. “You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t fit that description.” Then he goes into a speech about needing to survive the five-day camp and hands bleeding while gripping a mountain while others are falling off. It was kind of dramatic, but I suppose it’s television.
One of the coaches here? George Whitfield. Most people around these parts know him as the guy Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones worked with during this past offseason.
Each finalist gets a 150-page playbook to study with 20 concepts and 81 plays from NFL offenses. The first two days include numerous individual drills that focus on accuracy, arm strength and timing. They also have a workout on the beach, where basic skills like footwork and dropping back are much more difficult.
Del Rio is formally introduced during the first 7-on-7 competition about halfway through the show. Cue a shot of his father, Jack Del Rio, sitting in the stands watching while Luke explains that Jack is the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos and the former head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Whitfield on Del Rio’s strengths: “Talented. Comes in with a big chip on his shoulder, obviously. I think that’s gonna serve him well. Should be right there in the mix at the end.”
Four snaps during Del Rio’s 7-on-7 session were shown, but editing made it tough to see what specific throws he had to make. One was either a deep out or corner route to the left sideline. Another was a play action throw to his left. One was an incomplete pass over the middle on a three-step drop. Another was a deep throw down the middle to a wide open receiver, but it was just a bit off, causing the receiver to fall while making the catch in space.
Dilfer to Del Rio about that last throw: “You got away with it because you have a big arm…got a good completion, but if your eyes are disciplined there and you extend that drop, you’ve got a touchdown.”
Del Rio on what he called a “sporadic” 6-for-8 performance: “I had a few close throws that all went my way. I was kind of holding back, didn’t want to throw a pick. My decision-making was good, but I’d say I was a little off.”
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