When Cibolo Steele safety Caden Sterns visited the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, he was just doing his due diligence — the former longtime LSU Tigers pledge admitted to Gridiron Now that he went into the visit with a closed mind.
By the end of the weekend, he was committed to Tom Herman’s program after gaining a vastly different perspective.
“I took a visit to Texas on Saturday and I went in closed-minded,” Sterns said. “I wasn’t going to brush it off, but I had my mind made up with LSU and knew how loyal I was to LSU. But I left the visit with my eyes open.”
Ultimately, part of the difference for Sterns was being able to stay close to home — instead of making driving six and a half hours to Baton Rouge, his mother will simply make the hour drive up I-35 to Austin while his father drives down from the Metroplex.
But another decisive factor for Sterns was how the Texas coaching staff approached his recruitment.
“It came down to who made me feel like a priority and not just another recruit.”
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is known as one of the best recruiters in the business, but it appears that he made a miscalculation with how he and his staff handled Sterns following his commitment.
Meanwhile, new safeties coach Craig Naivar showed some of his own mettle on the recruiting trail in landing his first game-changing pledge with the Longhorns.
Tasked with selling a vision of the future instead of recent success, Naivar and Herman were able to overcome the innate stubbornness of Sterns in order to open his eyes to the eyes of Texas being upon him in college.
“It was crazy because I had my mind made up on LSU and I’m very stubborn; once I have my mind made up I don’t change,” he said. “But when I went to that Texas visit, it just opened my eyes in every aspect.”
When packaged well, Texas is one of the few places in the country that can alter a recruit’s thinking so drastically in just one visit.
And Herman and his staff are packaging it perfectly right now based on recent results.