Stenstrom's 94.20 Nike Football Rating at The Opening New Orleans event ranked in the 98th percentile of all athletes tested so far in the 2018 class. And the future Buff quarterback did well in the throwing portion of the event.
“I think I performed well; showed my talents there,” he said. “I was pretty fired up about [my 3.96-second] agility time. I run a 4.1 usually.”
Stenstrom is looking to attend another The Opening regional event, possibly the Charlotte combine on April 28. He is also playing with the Epic 7 Bay Area 7-on-7 squad this spring. They already qualified for the L.A. Best of the West Passing Downs tournament.
“After last season, I took a break and evaluated everything I wanted to get done as an athlete, quarterback and teammate,” Stenstrom said. “I wanted to put on some weight so I have put on about 10 pounds and I have gotten faster, stronger.
“I have been working on every aspect of quarterbacking. When we do our workouts in the mornings and afternoons at Valor, I am focusing on being a leader there and taking reigns of the team.”
Stenstrom takes the reigns after serving as Dylan McCaffrey's back-up the previous two seasons. Not many quarterbacks as talented as Stenstrom would have been as patient. But he did get to play the third series of every game last fall, and saw plenty of mop-up duty when Valor Christian was able to blow out its opponent.
In 2015 and 2016, Stenstrom completed 69.3 percent of his passes for a total of 662 yards and 11 touchdowns, with just two interceptions. He also rushed for 300 yards and two scores.
“It was definitely humbling just waiting for my time. It definitely made me hungry and motivated me,” Stenstrom admitted. “I still competed my butt off the last three years and it is my time now. It is my team and I am ready to go out there and compete with my buddies. I am really excited for this year.”
From time to time, Blake will watch old footage of his father Steve Stenstrom from his time as Stanford's starting quarterback. The older Stenstrom would go on to earn a paycheck for seven years in the NFL. He started several games for the Chicago Bears in 1998.
“We are very similar quarterbacks,” Blake said. “I am definitely bigger and stronger than he was coming out of high school. When he went into college, he was 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. Right now I am about 6-foot-3.5, 205-pounds. He actually ran a great 20-yard shuttle, too. He ran a 4.09 at the NFL Combine. I had never reached that until earlier this month at The Opening combine and I got it.”
If it works with his schedule, Stenstrom plans to attend the Buffaloes' Junior Day event in April. He was not able to make it up to Boulder to watch Colorado's spring game, but he has been up in the Champions Center often since verbally committing to the Buffs on Dec. 17.
“The good thing about being committed to a school that is located just 45 minutes away is I can get up there and get time with the coaches often,” Stenstrom said. “It is going to help prepare me for my time at CU. They are looking for me to come in and compete.
"I love the coaching staff. I love Coach [Darrin] Chiaverini, Coach [Brian] Lindgren, and Coach Mac[Intyre] is such a great guy. Coach Mac is so outspoken about his faith and that is a huge part of my life. That was very important for me to know I am going to be playing for a coach that values the same things I do.”
Stenstrom and fellow in-state Colorado commit Ray Robinson have taken it upon themselves to help the Buffs recruit other 2018 prospects to Boulder. They are following the example that Jonathan Van Diest, Dante Sparaco and Tyler Lytle set last recruiting cycle.
“One of the main things that made the 2017 recruiting class so good is the guys that committed in-state, and the other early commits, helped recruit other guys,” Stenstrom said. “Right now we have five commits and we are really trying to recruit the other guys that are top targets.”
Stenstrom does not plan to be an early enrollee, but academically, he will arrive in Boulder next summer with a substantial amount of transferable college credits.
“With my AP credits, I will be able to go in with about a year's worth of college pretty much done so I can really focus on trying to get my Masters degree in four or five years,” Stenstrom said. “I am really interested in an Engineering major and CU has a really great program called Technology, Arts and Media where it allows for a little bit more creativity within the Engineering field. I am looking at that as well as the Business school.”
Stenstrom might not be following in his father's footsteps by attending Stanford, but he will be following his dad's path by playing in the Pac-12.
“That is the conference I grew up loving, ever since I was a little kid,” he said. “And the fact CU is really close to home, my mom loves that. I am excited about my future.”