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OSU football: Quarterback commit Shane Illingworth cut from a familar mold

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Quarterback Shane Illingworth from Norco High School in Calfornia committed to Oklahoma State last week. [PHOTO PROVIDED]
Quarterback Shane Illingworth from Norco High School in Calfornia committed to Oklahoma State last week. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

STILLWATER — As he detailed his style of play, new Oklahoma State quarterback commitment Shane Illingworth offered up a name Cowboy fans can relate to.

Ben Roethlisberger.

Former Cowboy quarterback Mason Rudolph drew comparisons to Big Ben late in his college career, and is now serving as Roethlisberger’s understudy with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Illingworth, at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, is a little slimmer than Roethlisberger, but the comparison is valid, says Illingworth’s coach at Norco High School in Southern California.

“Shane is more mobile than he gets credit for,” Norco coach Chuck Chastain said. “He can make plays with his feet if needed, and he’s about as big as Ben.

“He’s got a great brain in his head, and his arm strength really stands out. There’s not a throw he can’t make. His presence in the pocket is really good, and he can put the ball in any window that’s out there.”

Illingworth, who is working toward January enrollment at OSU, is the first quarterback recruit secured by new Cowboy offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson, and Illingworth will bring back a pocket-passing element to a group full of dual-threat players.

Game tape shows a quarterback with a big arm, capable of slinging the ball downfield with ease. And regardless of the other skills the OSU quarterback possesses, the deep ball will remain a staple of the offense as long as Mike Gundy is the head coach.

“I try to do the necessary things to win the game,” Illingworth said. “But I’ll also take big shots down the field and make a play when a play needs to be made.

At Norco, which is located an hour east of Los Angeles, Illingworth runs many of the same concepts the Cowboys have used in recent years.

Former offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was drawn to Illingworth, and initiated his recruiting to Stillwater before Gleeson took over pursuit of the four-star prospect.

Gleeson extended the offer on May 1, and Illingworth committed last Wednesday after building a good relationship with Gleeson.

“He’s comfortable to talk to. He’s a great guy, a great coach,” Illingworth said. “We really hit it off from the beginning.

“I think the connection out there is great. Coach Gleeson, since he has been hired, has really been on me. He really sold me on what they’re trying to do. Coach Gundy, in my eyes, is a legend. I’ve always looked up to him. He seems like a very fun guy to play with, and I love what they’re doing in Stillwater.”

Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›

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