When safety Jordan Sterns makes his way into Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, it will be the first time the Cowboy commitment will have seen a game in his future home.
"I'm just looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere," Sterns said. "They're almost 60 [thousand] strong every game, and they might sell out, especially with them playing Texas. It's always a big game for them, so I'm looking forward to it."
And though Sterns grew up with the Longhorns, he was quick to point out, "I'm all OSU now."
How did he get there? The one-time Texas Tech commitment said the biggest stroke in the Cowboys' favor was safeties coach Van Malone.
"I loved what Coach Malone told me," Sterns said. "He said that you have to work for your spot here. We're going to make you work for what you earn, and if you work hard enough, you'll have a chance to play.
"I loved that," Sterns said. "Instead of telling me I'd start right off the bat, he was saying I'd have to earn it. That's really what changed my mind."
If Malone's appeal to Sterns's work ethic started Sterns down the path to becoming a Cowboy, a July trip to Stillwater sealed the deal.
"Campus was just beautiful," Sterns said. "That was when I was sure. I absolutely loved everything. It feels like home to me."
Before he arrives in Stillwater, Sterns said he still had unfinished business to attend to. The Cibolo Steele Knights are once again among the top teams in Texas, and Sterns hopes to guide them to a third straight state championship game.
"Our year is going really well," Sterns said. "We're 4-0 right now, and a lot of people have been stepping up because of the injuries we've had."
One of those injuries was an ACL tear to the knee of fellow safety Erik Huhn, a Texas commitment. With Huhn out, Sterns has had to step up as a leader in just his second season in the defensive backfield. He has two interceptions so far this season, but — always the critic — notes that he should have had two more.
"I'm not worried about stats, because it's a team sport, and the only stat that matters is wins," Sterns said. "So everything's going really well. I'm loving football right now. It couldn't go any better."