AUSTIN – The Denver Broncos selected the Texas safety caden Caden Sterns in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft on Saturday (152nd total).

Sterns and his howling wolf tattoo were dubbed “The Wolf of DKR” by former Longhorns recruiting director Bryan Carrington and instantly became stars in Texas. He showed a knack for ball-hawking as a true newbie by recording four interceptions in his first seven career games, everything begins.

Sterns was named Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and received an all-Big 12 first-team nod after collecting 62 tackles, four picks, 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, and one blocked kick in 13 starts would have.

The Steele graduate appeared in 16 games (15 starts) over the next two seasons, but never regained the precocious magic he displayed as a true freshman. Bad luck played a role when Sterns dealt with knee, ankle and toe injuries – he was operated on on his knee in March 2019 – although the wolf, even if he was healthy, seemed disturbed at times.

Sterns recorded 111 tackles, four pass deviations, 1.0 sack and an interception in the second and second year. That overwhelming production caused him to slip on Day 3, although Stern’s explosive Pro-Tag (42-inch vertical, 4.40-meter shot) proved he is still one of the sportiest defenders in this draft class .

Sterns also served as the team captain last season and has been on the front lines in advancing social justice reform on campus. And the San Antonio native helped start a fundraiser to help the San Antonio Food Bank during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Twitter: @NRmoyle