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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 3, 2015 at 2:37 PM

Lynden defensive end Bryce Sterk happy to be a Husky

A late bloomer as a football player, it was only fitting that Bryce Sterk emerged as Pac-12 recruit late.

Until mid-January, the best scholarship offers Sterk had were from Wyoming, Eastern Washington and Portland State. Less than two weeks later, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end from Lynden High School was making a verbal commitment to the Huskies during his official visit to UW.

That Jan. 25 commitment came just 10 days after receiving a formal scholarship offer from the Huskies when coach Chris Petersen and defensive line coach Jeff Choate made a visit to Lynden.

The very next day, Oregon defensive coordinator Don Pellum was at Lynden High school checking up on Sterk. It was a sudden, surprising shift for Sterk, who didn’t play football for the first time until his freshman year — and didn’t play varsity for Lynden until his junior season.

“I was shocked that it was that recent after Coach Petersen had been there,” Sterk said of Oregon’s visit. “I really hadn’t been in contact with them previously. That really was something else for me because I had no idea they would be interested.”

The Huskies, who started talking with Sterk last spring, had the inside track. He had made plans to visit Eugene at the end of January, but cancelled that trip after making his commitment to UW.

“The Huskies were always what I was aiming for throughout the entire process,” he said. “When Oregon jumped on board, I didn’t really consider it. I talked with them … just to see what they were about. They have a good program, but it was really kind of late in the process. The Huskies had done their homework and I figured they were the right choice for me.”

This season, Sterk hardly left the field for Lynden. He anchored the offensive line as the starting left tackle and posted 84 tackles, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles on defense, helping Lynden reach the Class 2A state championship game.

“There were games this year where (the opposing offense) would not run at him. They would run the other way every time,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “Some of his more spectacular plays were unfortunately bad plays for us. A guy would break away but Bryce was there to run him down from behind.”

Sterk also competes in track and field, having finished sixth in the 300-meter hurdles at the state championships last year (in 39.97 seconds).

“He’s lean and cut,” Kramme said. “It’s his size and speed that makes him unique. He’s got a really good motor and plays the game with a high level of intensity.”

Sterk is one of eight in-state recruits committed to signing with the Huskies on Wednesday.

“I know Coach Petersen is building a wall around Wasington with Washington recruits and he’s building a solid foundation,” Sterk said. “I feel like one he gets that, and the foundation is set, then I think we’ll see Washington doing some really great things.”

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