AUSTIN, Texas — For the second time in as many days, one of the best players on the Texas football team has announced he is walking away, with an eye toward the start of his professional future.
Caden Sterns will forego the the rest of the 2020 season, as well as the 2021 season, so he can prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, the safety said Monday in a statement released through the UT athletic department.
Offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi made a similar announcement Sunday.
"After much thought and prayer, I’ve arrived at the decision that it is time for me to follow my lifelong dream and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft," Sterns said. "With that, I’ll be forgoing the remainder of my eligibility, but I’ll always look back at my time in Austin as some of the best years of my life, especially with my teammates who have become my brothers.
"I want to thank Coach (Tom) Herman, (defensive coordinator) Coach (Chris) Ash and all of my coaches for guiding me in taking my game to the next level and all they’ve done for me throughout my career at UT."
Sterns played in 29 games, starting 28, during his three-year Texas career, during which he registered a team-high 172 tackles (125 solo), eight pass breakups and five interceptions.
In his first season at UT, he earned first-team All-Big 12 honors, and was named the conference's Defensive Freshman of the Year and a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the nation's premier defensive back after a debut season in which he collected 62 tackles three tackles for loss and four interceptions; his four picks tied the program record by a freshman.
He was named a captain in 2020, and is one of four Longhorns with at least 50 tackles (he has 52) this season.
“Longhorn Nation, thank you for the unending support for the last three years both on and off the field, especially in 2020, which has been a difficult and trying time for us all," Sterns said. "Above all, I want to thank my family for all of their support as I start this next chapter. I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds and will always be a Longhorn at heart. Hook 'em!”
(photos courtesy of University of Texas Athletics)