Oregon State coach Mike Riley welcomes Bama transfer QB Luke Del Rio
Looks like the addition of Lane Kiffin to Alabama’s coaching staff may already be paying off.
For Oregon State, that is.
And the Beavers likely have USC to thank for it.
Luke Del Rio, a freshman walk-on quarterback who climbed to No. 3 on Nick Saban’s depth chart by season’s end, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he was transferring from the school.
I had an incredible year at Bama, it's sad to say that it will be my last,I'm excited for the next chapter of my life and what it will bring
— Luke Del Rio (@Ldelrio12) January 15, 2014
On Saturday, his new coach Mike Riley welcomed the 6-2, 203-pound QB to the Pac-12.
— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) January 18, 2014
The news in itself is not entirely surprising, considering that the competition to replace record-setting Alabama QB AJ McCarron is loaded with top recruits. But Luke Del Rio isn’t any walk-on QB. He’s the son of current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
Jack Del Rio was an All-American linebacker at USC and widely known as a die-hard Trojan supporter. He reportedly interviewed for USC’s vacant head-coaching position late last year — a vacancy created when USC athletic director Pat Haden fired Kiffin.
Kiffin, who has left behind an ugly trail after leaving head-coaching gigs with the Oakland Raiders, University of Tennessee and USC, was hired by Saban last week to be Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The speculation in Southern California has been that Kiffin ruffled plenty of feathers at Troy, and that one would have a hard time finding anybody affiliated with USC who was sad to see Kiffin go.
Jack Del Rio is also reportedly good friends with Oregon State coach Mike Riley. And Luke Del Rio’s bio on the Alabama athletics web site says that Oregon State was one of four schools to offer the QB a scholarship (Colorado State, Oklahoma State and UCLA were the others), which he turned down to walk-on in Tuscaloosa.
Now, though, he’s traded in his crimson jersey for one covered in orange and black. But Del Rio will have to sit out next season because of NCAA transfer rules.