FRISCO, Texas—Considering he’s grown up idolizing great LSU defensive backs such as Jamal Adams and Tyrann Mathieu, Caden Sterns’ committing to the Tigers last fall wasn’t hard for the Cibolo (Texas) Steele safety.
“Growing up, it’s always been my dream school, no doubt,” Sterns said during Nike The Opening Regionals Dallas. “It feels like home, the way they do things there, the tradition, especially with DBU (it being defensive back university). The education there is very good. It just felt right.”
Sterns has recently spent substantial time in Baton Rouge, catching the Alabama game at Tiger Stadium last fall and seeing his older brother, Jordan, a former defensive back at Oklahoma State who is doing his pre-draft workouts there.
Besides always envisioning himself playing for the purple and gold, Sterns’ decision became a slam dunk last November when LSU made Ed Orgeron its full-time head coach. Sterns committed the following day.
“He’s a motivator and the way he goes about everything, you can tell that he wakes up every morning excited to be the coach at LSU,” Sterns said of Orgeron. “He’ll talk to you 10 seconds and make you want to strap up pads and go hit some bodies. He has a fire in him. His job means a lot to him. It’s not about money or anything like that. He loves the State of Louisiana and he loves LSU. I respect him for that.”
Sterns, who was one of four players to earn an invite to The Opening Finals, is happy to now have that decision behind him so he can focus on helping Steele, who lost in the UIL Class 6A Division II championship game last December, return to the finals and cap his career as a state champion. And even though the recruiting process is now over, he remains grateful for the interest he received.
“It’s been a blessing. Not too many people get to go through this process, continue their football career and get free education,” Sterns said. “It’s amazing, just to continue to play the game that I love and provide for my mama later if I go to the NFL.”
Sterns is on track to graduate in December, which will allow him to enroll early at LSU and participate in 2018 spring drills. But until then, his focus is simple.
“Getting back to state is definitely on our minds,” he said. “We don’t talk about winning district, going to playoffs, none of that. We talk about state every year. That’s what we’re about, we’re about winning.”