Cougar DE commit being pursued by many

THREE STAR defensive end prospect Gerald Sterling committed to the Cougs on Oct. 13, but he's seen his recruitment pick up since. The standout from the Yellowhammer state tells CF.C he's committed to the Cougs, but will also take visits to other schools this month and one factor in particular could play a big role in his decision.

Distance.

Out of Aliceville, Ala., Gerald Sterling will take an official visit to UAB this weekend and is planing on taking trips to Western Kentucky (Jan. 25), Southern Miss and Arkansas State. All four schools have actively been recruiting him since he committed to the Cougs in mid-October and the 6-4, 275-pound defensive end said he's very interested in each program.

"I'm committed to Washington State, but I'm trying to keep my options open right now," Sterling said. "With those schools, they are closer to home and it would allow for my family to see me play every Saturday. They're up and coming programs as well and it's something I think I'd like to be a part of."

Sterling said family is a big consideration.

"It's something that I've talked with my family about a lot," Sterling said. "I like those other schools because they are closer to home. My family would like me to stay close to them, but at the end of the day my choice is my choice. It's something I'll take into consideration, but I think my family will be happy for me wherever I decide to go play college ball."

As for his interest in Washington State, Sterling said it remains high. Sterling in October said he saw all he needed to see during his trip to pull the trigger and go crimson. His relationship with the staff, coupled with his experience getting to know the players is something he still thinks about.

"They play a good defense," Sterling said. "They're trying to build the program up and that interests me."

As a senior this season, Sterling said he had 15 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and a block field goal. Even more impressively, with his timed 4.7 40-yard dash, Sterling also played running back for Aliceville High and had five touchdowns.

Sterling, who has been in contact with defensive line coach Joe Salave'a and head coach Mike Leach, is being recruited as a defensive end by the Cougs. He said both coaches have told him he could compete for immediate playing time next season and his motor is a big reason why.

"I put a lot of work in and I can do a little bit of everything on the field," Sterling said. "I can rush the passer, but I can stop the run very well also. I've been talking with several coaches at Washington State and they like how I play. Coach Leach is happy that I'm committed and he told me he wants me to come in and help build the program. Coach Salave'a wants me to come in right away and do some work. Hopefully he can help get me to the NFL."

Sterling noted that he has told both Leach and Salave'a about his interest in other schools and that he will be taking other official visits.

"Yes sir, I told them," Sterling said. "They didn't have too much to say about it really."

Sterling added that the Cougs are his favorite at this point, but he has a top four of WSU, Southern Miss, Arkansas State and Western Kentucky.

"I won't make my final decision until signing day, but as of right now I'm committed to Washington State," he said.
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