Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman.
Today, we discuss what role LSU envisions Caden Sterns taking on.
DALLAS — Caden Sterns was not the first commitment in LSU’s 2018 recruiting class, but the 4-star defensive back was the first boom recorded since Ed Orgeron was named the full-time head coach of the Tigers.
That was on Nov. 27, and Sterns’ pledge has only strengthened with time.
LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond reeled in the Steele (Texas) High School safety as soon as Orgeron got the job. For Sterns, the decision was easy. He had always wanted to be a Tiger, and under Orgeron’s direction, he saw LSU on the upswing.
“It’s very special,” Steele told SEC Country, on being the first commitment after Orgeron was named LSU’s head coach. “I see potential in him and the way that he brings energy to the team. When I went up there, I saw that energy. He’s a motivator and he just motivates me in the way he talks. I love him. He’s a great coach. It’s really everything he does, not just one thing.”
Sterns, a 6-foot-1, 192-pounder, recently punched his ticket to Oregon for Nike’s “The Opening” Finals this summer.
The elite defensive back will have an opportunity to compete among the best of the best on both sides of the ball, much like he’ll get a chance to do at LSU.
Raymond, who remains in contact with Sterns on a daily basis, envisions the Texas standout replacing another Lone Star State native. That, of course, is Jamal Adams, who is preparing to be a top-five pick in the upcoming NFL draft and is the latest in a long elite of elite defensive backs to come through Baton Rouge.
“I told (Raymond) I’d play wherever he needs me, and he said he needs a Jamal Adams type of player,” Sterns explained. “I’m not picky, but with my ability, I can play corner or safety. I’m an unselfish player, and with me playing both it makes me more versatile.
“It’s a crazy big role to fill. All of my favorite defensive backs besides my brother (Jordan Sterns) are from LSU. Tyrann Mathieu is my ultimate favorite, but Jamal Adams is up there. Eric Reid, too. That role isn’t an easy one. The way he covers ground and plays in the middle of the field and makes open-field tackles is crazy. That’s why he’s going to be a No. 1 pick.”
Sterns recently visited LSU while his brother was training for the NFL combine. He spent time with Raymond, along with his brother and parents, further solidifying his commitment.
The elite safety is expected to return to campus for the spring game in April and remains in regular contact with the coaching staff. As per usual with Raymond, the conversations rarely revolve around football.
“Every day he texts me in the morning and tells me to have a good day at school. We talk every day on the phone, I talk to the staff and it’s pretty great. Actually, I can’t complain,” said Sterns. “Everything is awesome. We talk about school, about defensive back work, not LSU but in general, real-life stuff. (Raymond) is the realest person I know. He’s up-front with you and doesn’t sugarcoat things, and I like that.”
Sterns’ offer sheet has ballooned in recent weeks leading into and after the Nike regional in Dallas. Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi State have extended offers to the nation’s No. 42 overall recruit.
For the most part, the LSU commit has remained unfazed. Certainly, a conversation with Alabama’s head man carries weight, but it pales in comparison to his loyalty.
“You don’t get a call from Nick Saban too often, so when he calls you listen,” Sterns said with a laugh. “There’s nothing to worry about. LSU has always been my dream school and I’m very, very loyal. My loyalty to LSU is very high. I don’t see myself going anywhere else. I still look at other schools, but I’m not talking to anyone else. LSU — it’s a great place and I love it.”
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