Updated: Dec 30, 2021
By Adam Aniba
Last season we spotlighted Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore, pre-draft, who impressed NFL scouts with his potential and pro-day numbers. A criticism was his durability and his small stature (only 7 games '19 & '20). Nonetheless, Moore was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with pick #49 in the 2nd round.
Another mighty dynamo has shined this season, in Western Kentucky receiver Jerreth Sterns. The receiver made a name for himself at HBU (Houston Baptist Univ.), dominating the Southland Conference during the 2018- 2020 seasons. Sterns would ultimately transfer to WKU for the '21 season. He joined a few of his teammates, most notably his quarterback, Bailey Zappe, and offensive coordinator Zach Kittley, who also departed for W.Kentucky to implement his version of "The Air Raid" offensive scheme. Although Sterns and Zappe's 2020 season was shortened due to the COVID pandemic, they picked up where they left off at HBU.
Sterns has been borderline unstoppable this season. Through the first 10 games, the WKU receiver joined 49'ers 2009 10th overall pick, Michael Crabtree, as the only other receiver in college football to record 69 rec for 962 yards and 8 td's, since 2000 with at least 950 receiving yards and 64 receptions during that span.
5'9" 195 lbs | WR | W.Kentucky
Draft Proj 3rd rd
Career Stats (HBU 3 seasons 27 games) *Receiving- 220 rec 1,971 yards for 13 tds
*Rushing- 3 rush att for 56 yards 2 tds *Passing- 4-of-7 passing for 110 yards 2 tds & 1 int
*ST Returns- 31 punt returns for 177 yards
2021 (14 games ) *Receiving- 150 receptions for 1,902 yards and 17 tds
Jerreth Sterns attended Waxahachie HS in Texas where he earned Academic All-State honors playing under Coach and former NFL quarterback, Jon Kitna. During his time at Waxahachie High, Sterns was a two way star for Waxahachie, recording 60 rec for 956 yards for 8 tds 73.5 Y/G and 416 yards rushing with 1 td, but also lined up under center in sub-packages going 3/4 111 yards passing for 2 tds. On defense Sterns recorded 7 tak, 8 ints (115 int yards) and 2 tds.
Awards and Accolades
2021 Associated Press Midseason All-American
2021 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist (Nov. 15) – Watch List (Oct. 6)
Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 16, 2021)
Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Honorable Mention (Three times – Oct. 23, Oct. 16, Sept. 2)
Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 16, 2021)
Houston Baptist Univ
Prior to joining the WKU program, Sterns had a prolific career at Houston Baptist University, setting multiple records.
Sterns 220 rec while at HBC led all active FCS receivers
18 rec in a game
Ten double-digit catch performances
As a freshman in '18 set school record with 68 rec for 684 tards and 4 tds
As a sophomore '19 broke HBU record with 105 rec for 833 yards and 9 td
As a Junior (4-games COVID season) he led HBU with 47 rec for 454 and 5 tds. His 11.8 rec average and 113.5 ypg average topped ranked him #1 in the FCS rankings.
Tale of the Tape
Excellent ball-tracking ability; Makes over-the-shoulder catches look routine
Speed is his #1 attribute with multiple gears and near impossible to chase down in the open field
Dynamic special teams returner; A house call waiting to happen
Superb vision in the open-field
Zone splitter, displays elite ability as a Go-route target
Little wasted movement after the catch
Won't shy away from contact
Sterns' 111 receptions in '21, led the nation with the closest FBS receiver being USC's Drake London, with 88 rec). His 1,368 receiving yards rank second in FBS to Thompkins (1,441) and his 11 touchdowns are tied for the FBS lead with four other receivers. The Biletnikoff Award finalist is college football's biggest producer, leading the nation with 8.95 rec per game, with 332 total receptions in 37 career games.
Sterns has had an outstanding career which has included: eight games with at least 2 tds, sixteen 100-yard games, 17 double-digit reception performances'
Sterns ability as an elite pass catcher is what jumps out, but his versatility to play inside or outside make him more attractive to quarterback needy teams. His ascension as a route runner also can't be understated.
With college receivers making the jump to the NFL, the learning curve is steep and being well versed in route tree concepts will put the WKU receiver ahead of the curve. Bottom line, regardless of level of competition, Sterns is a playmaker that should see his stock continue to rise after his dominating bowl performance.
Sterns journey from HBU to WKU has been a great backstory as he brought his quarterback and OC along for the ride. Sterns performance in the Boca Raton Bowl vs App State, was on par with his career (recording 13 rec for 184 yds and 3 tds) and NFL scouts should have Sterns as a Dat 2 option. After an historic season for Western Kentucky, in which Sterns led the nation in receiving yards, NFL scouts will surely have Sterns on the board.
*Games Watched- 9/2 vs TN-Martin, 9/11 vs Army, 9/8 vs ODU, 9/25 vs Indiana,
10/2 vs Mich State, 10/9 vs UTSA, 10/16 Old Dominion, 10/23 vs FIU, 10/30 vs Charlotte, 11/6 vs Middle Tenn and 11/13 vs Rice
*Team Fits- WFT, HOU, Saints, DET, ATL, LA Rams, CHI, CLEV, JAX, KC, BUF, LV
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