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Del Rio Family Looking Hard At Locations, Schools In New Orleans

Jack Del RioJack Del Rio

Luke Del Rio is sought after, Division I college football recruit from Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

At 6'2, 190-pounds, Del Rio is a polished product with a good arm. He is also the son of former Jacksonville Jaguars head football coach Jack Del Rio.

The possibility of father and son relocating to New Orleans is genuine and it my have nothing to do with the vacant New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator position under Sean Payton.

Three prominent area high school coaches confirm that the Del Rio's visited their respective schools with the possible intent to transfer.

Jack Del Rio was fired as head coach of the Jaguars on Nov. 29 after eight- plus seasons on the job.

Del Rio was a third-round selection by the New Orleans Saints out of USC in the 1985 NFL Draft.

He played two seasons in New Orleans before moving on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings over the course of his 11-year playing career.

Prior to becoming the head coach at Jacksonville, Del Rio spent seven years as an NFL assistant, starting in 1997 with the New Orleans Saints as assistant strength coach in 1997 and linebackers coach under Mike Ditka in 1998. He went on to coach linebackers with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2001 and was part of their Super Bowl XXXV championship, beating the New York Giants. He moved on from Baltimore to serve as an assistant coach with the Carolina Panthers in 2002 before landing the head coaching job in Jacksonville in 2003.

With the Saints, Del Rio was named to the NFL's All-Rookie team and earned the Saints' Rookie of the Year award. He became expendable with the arrival of Pat Swilling, who teamed with Rickey Jackson, Vaughan Johnson and Sam Mills to comprise the famed "Dome Patrol," voted by NFL Network as the best group of linebackers in NFL history.

During his two stints of two years in New Orleans as a player and coach, Del Rio developed a fondness for the city and still considers it as home, according to many sources.

After losing his position in Jacksonville, Del Rio came to New Orleans to investigate possibly moving back here. He did so with Luke last month, visiting Jesuit High School, Isidore Newman School and St. Paul's in Covington.

Jesuit football coach Wayde Keiser tells SportsNola.com that Del Rio brought Luke with him to visit the mid-city school, spending two hours with him. Del Rio indicated that he would likely live in Orleans Parish, if he makes the move with family here. Jesuit has a fine senior quarterback returning in Tanner Lee. Luke Del Rio will be a senior in the fall, with one year of eligibility remaining.

Though not impossible, a move to Jesuit would appear unlikely for the younger Del Rio. Historically, Jesuit does not accept junior and senior transfers though Luke is a good student.

Newman head football coach Nelson Stewart tells sportsNOLA.com that Del Rio and his son visited Newman "weeks ago." They toured the campus and expressed that they liked it and were very impressed with what they saw and heard. Stewart said that Luke has not enrolled at the uptown school though he would be welcome if he chooses to do so.

Newman returns Jai Tyler, a good athlete, at quarterback. Tyler will be a sophomore in the fall and can play multiple positions. Eli Sterbcow returns as well after starting most games in 2011 and he will be a senior in 2012. Tyler started three games when Sterbcow was injured in 2011. Both played significant time for the remainder of the season when Sterbcow returned from injury.

Del Rio has also taken a look at St. Paul's in Covington, where the Wolves went 10-0 in 2011 and earned the top seed for the 5A state playoffs before falling to Central in an opening round upset. The Wolves lose quarterback Patrick Duncan to graduation this spring. Sources say that Del Rio did visit St. Paul's just over a week ago, toured the campus but has not enrolled or indicated that he is would be doing so.

A pro-style quarterback, Luke Del Rio has received interest from some Division I schools. He began his high school career at The Bolles School and transferred to Episcopal High, a traditional passing style offense, for his junior year.

Del Rio took advantage of his opportunity at Episcopal in 2011, completing 174-of-315 passes (55%) for 2,530 yards with 20 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and has a strong arm. He attended camps at USC and Alabama.

Meanwhile, the Saints are searching for a defensive coordinator and Payton is reportedly interviewing Steve Spagnuolo Wednesday. Mike Nolan, a potential candidate, accepted the same position with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday. Could Jack Del Rio be in the mix? Stay tuned.

 

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