The Kansas football program's 2021 recruiting class cracked the top 30 nationally on Wednesday after picking up an oral commitment from three-star offensive lineman De'Kedrick Sterns.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound lineman from Del Valle, Texas, is the eighth member and first offensive lineman in KU’s current recruiting class.
His addition moved Kansas to No. 26 nationally — fourth in the Big 12 — in the latest Rivals.com team rankings.
According to Rivals, Sterns held offers from 15 programs, including Air Force, Colorado State, Duke, North Texas, Rice and Tulane.
He told Jon Kirby, of JayhawkSlant.com, that he made his commitment in a FaceTime call with several Kansas coaches.
KU coach Les Miles, offensive line coach Luke Meadows, offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon and safeties coach Jordan Peterson all put in time recruiting Sterns. He told Kirby that KU’s all-hands-on-deck approach made a major impact.
“It came down to the coaching staff there,” Sterns said. “I really like those guys. The relationship we've built over the last couple of months is way different than the other schools recruiting me.”
Sterns made his commitment public with a post on Twitter at 4 p.m. Wednesday. In it, he made it clear that his relationships with his coaches always have meant a lot to him.
“I honestly can’t put into words how thankful I am for each and every single one of you!” Sterns wrote after thanking his coaches. “The relationships we have built over the years are some (I’ll) cherish for the rest of my life.”
Sterns has yet to visit KU’s campus and his plans to do so have been put on hold because of the pandemic. He told Kirby he had talked to several other members of KU’s current class, along with those still being recruited by Kansas, to get a feel for Lawrence and the program’s facilities.
His junior season at Del Valle High was his first playing on the offensive line, but he told Kirby that he received around 20 college scholarship offers after switching over to offense.
“I think I had a good year,” he said. “I’m doing nothing but putting in work and getting better every day, so the sky’s the limit. I think I have a good future ahead of me.”
KU’s class now includes Lawrence High running back Devin Neal; Brownsburg (Ind.) High quarterback Ben Easters; Little Rock, Ark., defensive end Deldrick Withers; Mena, Ark., tight end Mason Brotherton and Jaddai Henry, Majik Rector and Kelan Robinson, who are all wide receivers from Texas.