By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Todd Monken’s departure has already produced some collateral damage on the recruiting front.
Less than a day after news leaked of Monken’s hiring as the Southern Miss head coach, Elite 11 quarterback and Oklahoma State commit Luke Del Rio announced via Twitter (see above) he was no longer pledged to the Cowboys.
As you can see, Del Rio is still considering OSU among his top candidates, but that may be more of a friendly gesture.
Monken was the reason Del Rio committed to play in Stillwater. OSU’s now ex-offensive coordinator is long-time friends with the Del Rio family, dating back to when he worked for Jack, Luke’s father, as the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach.
From here, with his recruitment opened back up, Luke’s got plenty of options, including standing offers from Colorado State and Oregon State and interest from Florida State and North Carolina.
Also, there’s a few other intriguing options. Last week, news leaked that Alabama had invited Del Rio out for an official visit, despite his (soft) commitment to OSU. The likelihood of him taking that visit increases with today’s news.
And Southern Miss, with Monken running the show, is another team that could quickly jump into the fold. It’s not a BCS school, like many of the others Del Rio is considering, but could offer immediate playing time and the coach he’s always wanted to play for.
As for Oklahoma State, Del Rio’s departure is a somewhat expected blow. They’ve got a three-headed quarterback battle heading into next season (assuming no one transfers) and two of those guys are sophomores. Plus, they’ve got Arizona transfer Daxx Garman in the fold.
On the recruiting trail, as Scott Wright reveals, the Cowboys have minor interest in a pair of 2013 prospects (maybe more). Mike White, a 6-foot-5 quarterback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Elbert Speed, a signal caller from Fort Worth (who may have the best QB name in this class) have both visited Stillwater. White committed to South Florida a few days ago, but OSU’s new vacancy could always change things.
Interest in both may pick up with Del Rio’s decommitment or the Cowboys may wait until 2014 (a luxury they have) to snag their next arm. Local products Justice Hansen and David Cornwell are two guys they’ve looking at.
But for now, OSU needs to get its house in order. Before the Cowboys go after a quarterback they must find the offensive coordinator who will be coaching them.