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Texas S Caden Sterns practicing “in full” ahead of Sugar Bowl

The Longhorns starting safety suffered a knee injury in the Big 12 title game and was unable to return.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that a Texas Longhorns secondary that has been plagued by various injuries throughout the 2018 season will be at full strength come Jan. 1 at the Sugar Bowl.

On Thursday, Texas head coach Tom Herman met with the media and he provided a positive update regarding starting safety Caden Sterns, who suffered a knee injury in the Big 12 Championship loss to Oklahoma.

Caden Sterns practiced in full yesterday and we expect him to practice in full [on Friday].”

The Longhorns lone true freshman starter on defense, Sterns finished fifth on the team with 62 tackles, in addition to three tackles for loss, four passes defended, and a team-high four interceptions. As evident by his stat line, Sterns’ rangy ability and terrific ball instincts have proven invaluable for Texas throughout the 2018 campaign. Sterns’ impact was honored accordingly, as the No. 1 safety in the 2018 class was dubbed as an All-Big 12 selection, the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, and as a Freshman All-American by multiple publications, including ESPN and 247Sports.

However, fellow freshmen Moro Ojomo and Al’Vonte Woodard aren’t healthy ahead of the Sugar Bowl, Herman noted on Thursday. A defensive tackle who Herman said was playing well throughout the earlier bowl practices, Ojomo is currently battling a sprained ankle. He’s appeared in two games this season against West Virginia and against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. Woodard, a former four-star wide receiver who has yet to see the field this season, suffered a sprained shoulder.

Herman said Ojomo and Woodard are “probably doubtful.”

“Those two guys didn’t progress quite as fast. We’re still going to give it a go, we’ve got six days,” said Herman.

Texas’ Sugar Bowl showdown with Georgia is set for Jan. 1 at 7:45 p.m. CT.