When one hears the name ‘Del Rio,’ one automatically thinks ‘defense.’ Jack Del Rio played linebacker for 5 different NFL teams from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s, and he’s the current defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
Now people are getting to know an offensive Del Rio. Jack’s son, Luke, is a great high school quarterback who has already committed to play for Oklahoma State next fall. First, he has to put in one last full season of high school football which will be played at Valor Christian High School.
The younger Del Rio’s season begins Friday, but he’s been working heavily with the Broncos this summer to become a better quarterback.
Luke has helped the team in drills, throwing to receivers, and even participated in quarterback drills in which he got to run alongside Peyton Manning.
“I could relate to what he was going through when I was in high school,” Manning said. “Jim Mora, the old head coach of the Saints before he came to the Colts allowed me to go out there and sit in meetings, and actually got to practice with them a little bit, which may have been as nervous as I’ve been in my entire life.”
Manning’s father, Archie, was doing radio for the New Orleans Saints at the time, not to mention he played quarterback there for 14 seasons. Access was immediately granted for the young Manning to work on his game in a way that no other high school player could.
Luke Del Rio has not only taken part in practices on the field, but he’s been able to sit in on meetings too.
“I know this will be great experience for him, just listening to meetings,” Manning said. “That was big for me. Just listening to different ideas on coverages.”
Jack Del Rio and the Manning’s were neighbors while Peyton was growing up in New Orleans, so Manning is happy to do an old friend a favor by mentoring his son.
According to Manning, his experience practicing with an NFL team while still in high school was invaluable.
“I had not thrown to that kind of speed before,” Manning said. “It really helped me when I went to college. I know it will pay dividends for Luke.”
Valor Christian should be a fun team to watch this year.