Oklahoma State received some great news last week when four-star quarterback Shane Illingworth verbally committed to joining the Cowboys’ 2020 class.
We reached out to the California native earlier this week to find out why he chose OSU, his favorite Bedlam match-ups, and more!
Phillip Slavin: How does it feel to be a Cowboy?
Shane Illingworth: “It feels great! The fans are awesome. They’ve reached out on social media, they’re so welcoming.”
PS: How does it feel just to be committed in general, to have the recruiting process over with?
SI: “Honestly, it feels really good. I’m ready to tackle it with my boys in high school. We’re trying to go to a championship ourselves so I’m able to just focus on that now.”
PS: What was the recruiting process like for you?
SI: “It was good, it was fun. But, Oklahoma State was always on my radar and when they came into play that was really it for me.”
PS: There were plenty of other schools that offered, including Arkansas and Louisville. What was it about OSU that swayed you toward Stillwater and away from the other programs?
SI: “OSU, I just feel really comfortable there. I feel really comfortable with the coaching staff. I like that I have family there. Plus, I like football in Oklahoma.”
PS: New Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson is the guy recruiting you. What’s your relationship like with him?
SI: “It’s great! He’s a great coach, he’s a great guy. I feel really comfortable talking with him. We’re both have the same goal of trying to win championships in Stillwater.”
PS: When did he first reach out to you?
SI: “When he was hired at OSU.”
PS: How did this relationship build so quickly? Gleeson hasn’t been in Stillwater long.
SI: “Talking to him over time. Him coming out to practice. Really it was just the time we spent talking and building that relationship. Then you throw in Coach Gundy who I’ve talked with. He’s a legend. He’s a legend in my eye and seems really fun to play for. He’s a player’s coach that has been really great to talk with and get to know too.”
PS: What have your interactions with Coach Gundy been like?
SI: “They’ve been good. He’s a real cool guy. I think the swagger he brings to the program is awesome.”
PS: You’ve got some family living in Oklahoma. Did you grow up a fan of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State or more a fan of Bedlam in general? How does the family lean?
SI: “I was more just a fan of football in Oklahoma in general. I really just loved the football. The Bedlam games are great. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma is one of the most fun games to watch. It’s a great rivalry.”
PS: You’ve watched Bedlam a few times. Which Bedlam game did you like the most?
SI: “The one last year was pretty insane. They only lost by like one point. That was a great game. Then, the Brandon Weeden days were pretty good, with Landry Jones. Then, remember when they had the interception where the OSU player knocked it back inbounds? That was unreal. That was crazy.”
PS: You’re from California born and raised. I know you have family in Oklahoma but how do you feel about making the transition from the west coast to middle America?
SI: “I feel good. I’ve been to Oklahoma a few times, more times than I can count. I’m comfortable with the area, I know the area. I feel like it should be a pretty cool transition.”
PS: No one has seen what Sean Gleeson’s offense is going to look like at Oklahoma State yet. From talking to him, what kind of coach do you think he’s going to be?
SI: “I think he’ll be a good coach. He’s a smart coach. I think he’ll put the quarterback in a good situation. I’m looking forward to playing for him.”
PS: I always like asking this question, especially of quarterbacks. If there were a couple of guys on your team now that you would like to see come to Stillwater with you, who would they be?
SI: “Logan Loya, a reciever out of Saint Johns Boscoe. He hasn’t had an offer yet, but hopefully that can change. I haven’t been recruiting him yet, but we’ll see down the road.”
PS: There’s another Cali quarterback coming to Stillwater as part of the 2019 class, Brendan Costello. Have you had a chance to chat with him?
SI: “Yeah I’ve played with him. He’s a cool guy. I like him, I think he’s a good addition to the program too. He’s a competitor and it will be fun to play with him”
PS: What NFL quarterback would you compare yourself to?
SI: “I would say Ben Roethlisberger.”
PS: What is it about your game that you think compares to his.
SI: “I just like how he makes a big play when one needs to be made. He’s confident when he throws the ball. He can escape the pocket and create a play downfield. He’s a great player in my eyes. He’s a winner and he’s a competitor.”
PS: From the highlight tapes I’ve watched, you have a really strong arm. But I’m curious to know what you think is your greatest strength as a quarterback is.
SI: “I would say my accuracy, my accuracy down the field and in midrange. That and making the correct decisions.”
PS: You’re the eighth commit of the Oklahoma State  class. Have you already had a chance to talk with some of the other guys?
SI: “Yeah I’ve been I’ve been able to talk with them. We have a group chat going.”
PS: Who do you feel like you’ve formed the strongest connection with so far?
SI: “Eli Russ is a real cool guy. Trent Pullen is a super cool dude. Zach Middleton, that guy’s a dog. Those guys are real cool guys. I’m just really happy to be part of this class, part of the family.”
PS: When you get to Stillwater in 2020, there are going to be some guys ahead of you; Spencer Sanders, potentially Costello. What’s your feel about coming in and potentially having to sit for a year or two? How will you handle that situation?
SI: “Whatever the program needs me to do, I’ll do. That’s how I feel about it.”
PS: So if you do sit, what can you bring to the team when you’re not on the field?
SI: “Just a competitive spirit. Be someone who can do whatever the team needs. Someone that can dive into the playbook and help the other quarterbacks. Help the underclassmen when it comes to that. Just do whatever the team needs me to do, whatever coach needs me to do.”