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Jace Sternberger

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Jace Sternberger
refer to caption
Sternberger with the Green Bay Packers in 2019
No. 12 – Birmingham Stallions
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1996-06-26) June 26, 1996 (age 28)
Kingfisher, Oklahoma, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:251 lb (114 kg)
Career information
High school:Kingfisher (OK)
College:Kansas (2015–2016)
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (2017)
Texas A&M (2018)
NFL draft:2019 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:12
Receiving yards:114
Receiving touchdowns:1
Player stats at PFR

Jace Evan Sternberger (born June 26, 1996) is an American football tight end for the Birmingham Stallions of the United Football League (UFL). He played college football at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Kansas, and Texas A&M, where he was named a consensus All-American in 2018 with the latter. Sternberger was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has also been a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Buffalo Bills.

Early years[edit]

At Kingfisher High School in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Sternberger played various positions in football, both offensive and defensive. He initially played quarterback. After a shoulder injury during his sophomore season, his coaches moved him to tight end. In basketball, Sternberger played power forward. His experience in basketball put him in a better position to excel at tight end in football. As a junior, he was part of the state championship team that compiled a 14–0 record. As a senior in 2014, he made 42 receptions for 390 yards and eight touchdowns.[1]

Sternberger received scholarship offers from various colleges, including Texas State, Kansas, New Mexico, and Sam Houston State. He chose to enroll at Kansas as part of then-head coach David Beaty's first recruiting class.[2][3]

College career[edit]

During the 2015 season at Kansas, Sternberger took a redshirt.[3]

In 2016, as a redshirt freshman, Sternberger recorded only one reception for 5 yards over 10 games. He was second on the depth chart behind Ben Johnson, who recorded 10 receptions for 112 yards and one touchdown that season. Kansas' offensive scheme did not provide enough opportunities for Sternberger to showcase his skills. During the 2016 season, Kansas tight ends only amassed 11 receptions.[3] Due to the limited need of tight ends at Kansas and around the country, Sternberger transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. During the 2017 season at the junior college, he had 21 receptions for 336 yards and six touchdowns. Due to his junior college performance, Sternberger was recruited by several programs, including Boise State and Florida State. He was ranked as the 53rd-best junior college player by Rivals.com.[4] During his recruitment, then-Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher accepted the same position at Texas A&M. Sternberger chose to commit to Texas A&M due to Fisher's tight end-heavy offense,[5] wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig's recruiting, and the opportunity to play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).[2]

During the 2018 season, Sternberger received midseason All-America honors from CBS Sports,[6] the Associated Press (AP),[7] Sports Illustrated (SI),[8] Athlon Sports,[9] and ESPN.[10] He was named one of eight semi-finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top collegiate tight end.[11] He was not selected as a finalist for the award, even though he had more touchdowns, receiving yards, and yards per reception than each of the three finalists.[12] Despite not being selected as a Mackey Award finalist, Sternberger received first-team all-SEC honors[13] and first-team All-America honors from the AP,[14] Athlon,[15] CBS,[16] Football Writers Association of America (FWAA),[17] Sporting News (SN),[18] SI,[19] and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF).[20] He earned second-team All-American honors from USA Today.[21] Since Sternberger was recognized by at least two of the five NCAA-recognized All-America team selectors (AP, AFCA, FWAA, SN, and the WCFF), he became a consensus All-American.

Following his lone season at A&M, Sternberger decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. He finished his career at A&M with 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 10 touchdowns match the school record for most touchdowns by a tight end, and his 832 receiving yards ranked second nationally among all tight ends for the 2018 season.[22]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
251 lb
(114 kg)
32+18 in
(0.82 m)
9+34 in
(0.25 m)
4.75 s 1.58 s 2.82 s 4.31 s 7.19 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[23][24]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Sternberger was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round (75th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft.[25] On June 10, 2019, he signed his rookie contract.[26] On September 3, 2019 Sternberger was placed on injured reserve to start the 2019 season.[27] He was designated for return from injured reserve and began practicing on October 16, 2019. He was activated off injured reserve on November 2, 2019.[28] He scored his first NFL touchdown in the National Football Conference Championship against the San Francisco 49ers on an eight-yard reception from Aaron Rodgers in the 37–20 loss.[29]

The Packers placed Sternberger on the reserve/COVID-19 list on July 30, 2020.[30] He was activated on August 17, 2020.[31]

Sternberger was suspended two games on June 10, 2021, after violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.[32] He was waived after returning from suspension on September 21, 2021.[33]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Sternberger signed with the practice squad of the Seattle Seahawks on September 23, 2021.[34]

Washington Football Team[edit]

Sternberger signed with the Washington Football Team on October 6, 2021.[35] He was waived on November 2, 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

On November 23, 2021, Sternberger was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad.[36] He signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers on January 18, 2022.[37] He was waived on August 30, 2022.[38]

On November 11, 2022, the Cleveland Browns hosted Sternberger for a workout.[39]

Birmingham Stallions (first stint)[edit]

On January 26, 2023, Sternberger signed with the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League (USFL).[40] He was released from his contract on July 24, 2023, to sign with an NFL team.[41]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

On July 25, 2023, Sternberger signed with the Buffalo Bills.[42] He was released on August 27, 2023.[43]

Birmingham Stallions (second stint)[edit]

On November 20, 2023, Sternberger re-signed with the Stallions.[44] He was named to the 2024 All-UFL team on June 5, 2024.[45]

NFL career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM Lost
2019 GB 6 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2020 GB 12 0 12 114 9.5 27 1 0 0
Total 18 1 12 114 9.5 27 1 0 0
Source: NFL.com

Postseason[edit]

Year Team GP GS REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM Lost
2019 GB 2 1 3 15 5.0 8 1 0 0
Total 2 1 3 15 5.0 8 1 0 0
Source: pro-football-reference.com

Personal life[edit]

Sternberger's parents, Jason and Jackie, were college athletes. Jackie was a basketball standout at Southwestern Oklahoma State University where she was a two time All-American.[2] Sternberger lived in Clinton, Oklahoma for a good part of his youth where he met his good friend who he considers a brother. He has a tattoo of him on his left arm in honor of a childhood friend, Alfonso Reynaga, who died at the age of 13 of brain cancer. In November 2021, Sternberger welcomed a son with longtime girlfriend and model, Tayla Janae.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sternberger headed to A&M". Enidnews.com. Bruce Campbell Staff.
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Travis L. "Position switch, junior college on Jace Sternberger's winding path to Texas A&M". The Eagle. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Benton (April 7, 2017). "Tight end Jace Sternberger transferring from Kansas". KU Sports. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "2018 Juco Prospect Ranking". n.rivals.com.
  5. ^ "Adjusting to Jimbo: Tight end position gains importance". 247Sports. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  6. ^ Silverstein, Adam (October 17, 2018). "2018 CBS Sports Midseason All-America team: College football's standout players at the halfway point". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Tagovailoa one of 5 Alabama midseason AP All-Americans". apnews.com. October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "SI's 2018 Midseason All-America Team". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "College Football 2018 Midseason All-America Team". Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "College football midseason All-America team". ESPN. October 15, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Information, Texas A&M Sports. "Texas A&M's Sternberger named John Mackey Award Semi-finalist". kbtx.com.
  12. ^ "John Mackey award finalists lacking an A&M favorite". Houston Chronicle. November 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "2018 All-SEC Football Team announced". secsports.com.
  14. ^ Russo, Ralph D. (December 10, 2018). "AP All-America team: Tide leads with 4 of 10 CFP players". AP NEWS.
  15. ^ Lassan, Steven. "College Football's 2018 Postseason All-America Team". AthlonSports.com. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  16. ^ "2018 CBS Sports All-America team: SEC and Alabama lead the way with most selections". CBSSports.com.
  17. ^ "FWAA > News > 2018 FWAA All-America Team". sportswriters.net.
  18. ^ "Sporting News 2018 college football All-Americans". Sporting News. December 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "SI's 2018 All-America Teams". Sports Illustrated.
  20. ^ "Walter Camp Football Foundation Announces 2018 All-America Teams" (PDF). Walter Camp.
  21. ^ Myerberg, Paul. "Kyler Murray, Tua Tagovailoa headline USA TODAY Sports' All-America teams". USA Today. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  22. ^ "College Sports: Texas A&M; tight end Jace Sternberger to skip senior year, declares for 2019 NFL draft | SportsDay". Archived from the original on January 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Jace Sternberger Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  24. ^ "2019 NFL Draft Scout Jace Sternberger College Football Profile". DraftScout.com. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  25. ^ "Quick pick: Packers select TE Jace Sternberger with third-round pick". packers.com. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  26. ^ "Packers sign TE Jace Sternberger". packers.com. June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  27. ^ "Packers place TE Jace Sternberger on IR". Packers.com. September 3, 2019. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  28. ^ "Packers activate TE Jace Sternberger from injured reserve". Packers.com. November 2, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  29. ^ "NFC Championship – Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – January 19th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  30. ^ Wilde, Jason (July 30, 2020). "As rookies arrive, Mason Crosby and two other Packers players land on COVID-19 reserve list". Madison.com. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  31. ^ Kruse, Zach (August 17, 2020). "Packers activate TE Jace Sternberger, DL Treyvon Hester from COVID-19 reserve list". USA Today. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  32. ^ Williams, Charean (June 10, 2021). "NFL suspends Jace Sternberger two games for violating substance abuse policy". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  33. ^ "Packers release TE Jace Sternberger". Packers.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  34. ^ Crabtree, Curtis (September 22, 2021). "Seahawks adding Jace Sternberger to practice squad". nbcsports.com. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  35. ^ Kruse, Zach (October 6, 2021). "Panthers trade for Stephon Gilmore, former Packers TE Jace Sternberger signs in Washington". Packers Wire. USA Today. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  36. ^ "Roster moves continue for Steelers". Steelers.com. November 23, 2021.
  37. ^ Varley, Teresa (January 18, 2022). "Steelers sign 12 to Reserve/Future contracts". Steelers.com.
  38. ^ Varley, Teresa (August 30, 2022). "Steelers make first round of roster moves". Steelers.com. Archived from the original on August 30, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  39. ^ "Browns workout 6 players on Friday including 2 tight ends".
  40. ^ @USFLStallions (January 26, 2023). "Free Agent Signing" (Tweet). Retrieved January 26, 2023 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ @USFLStallions (July 24, 2023). "Contract Terminated / Signing with NFL Team" (Tweet). Retrieved July 24, 2023 – via Twitter.
  42. ^ White, Alec (July 25, 2023). "Buffalo Bills made these transactions ahead of Training Camp". buffalobills.com. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  43. ^ White, Alec (August 27, 2023). "Bills release 7 players". BuffaloBills.com.
  44. ^ Larsen, James (November 21, 2023). "Birmingham Stallions Re-Sign All-USFL TE Jace Sternberger". Pro Football Newsroom. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  45. ^ "UFL Announces Inaugural All-UFL Team". www.theufl.com. June 5, 2024. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  46. ^ Williams, Charean (September 25, 2018). "A Friendship To Last a Lifetime – Texas A&M University Athletics Department". 12thman.com. Retrieved October 20, 2018.

External links[edit]