Wesley Steiner is a starting linebacker for Houston County in Warner Robins. The 6-foot, 220-pound senior is currently the fifth-ranked inside linebacker in the country and No. 8 overall player in the state, according to the 247Sports Composite. I spoke to Steiner after a long indoor/outdoor practice dodging a heat advisory and lightning storm. The Bears are off to a 3-0 start this season and Steiner credits conditioning and off-season training for the team’s early success.
Steiner has been one of the key players for Houston County over the past few years and he recently made one of the biggest decisions of his life, choosing to take his talents to Auburn over Stanford. He’s big on trust and the Tigers were the first team to offer him a scholarship after his sophomore year.
We caught up with defensive standout to ask him a few questions.
Why did you choose to play for Auburn? “There are four things that stem from it and the first reason is for the degree. My head principal Dr. Douglas Rizer got a doctorate from a Division II or Division III school and if you’re looking at it from athletics, he’s a heck of a principal and that proves that it doesn’t matter where your degree comes from. The second reason was location. My family can come watch the games if they want because it's a reasonable drive, and I can come home in case something happens. The third reason is that Auburn has the third-highest-paid coaching staff in the country and I want to be a coach one day. Lastly, I feel like if I want to coach the best I’ve got to play with the best and being raised in the south the SEC is king.”
What is the best part about being a senior this season? “None of it. It's really bittersweet because I keep thinking about the three years that have gone by. You just keep getting by somehow and doing your work and then you’re a senior, you know, with one year left and we’re already at game four. We have ten games guaranteed so it’s going by a little too quickly for me.”
Who is your role model? “I'm really driven, and I try to model my tendencies after other people but not completely take their tendencies. I try to take the good bits of what they're doing. My favorite players right now are Luke Kuechly (Carolina Panthers LB) and Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks LB). They're not the biggest but they get the job done because they’re smart and they are good at what they do.”
Is there something still on your high school bucket list? “I'd love to walk across that graduation stage with my hand full of state championship rings and I'm part of the way there.”
What is it like to play under the lights at Houston each week? “You think it gets old, but I don’t think it gets old. It's always been high octane I think because of where I'm playing at. You have to continue to get better as a player and it's really good for us as a team and it's really good for me as a player because, you know, we’re not playing slouches or playing your average rec team Friday nights. It forces you to elevate your game because you play good people and you don't improve without adversity so that's probably my favorite thing, just knowing that I'm getting a good football team on Friday night and it's not going to be a cakewalk.”
Follow Steiner on Twitter @ItsYa_Boi_Wes