Sternberger in 2019
|No. 87 – Green Bay Packers|
|Born:||June 26, 1996|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||251 lb (114 kg)|
|High school:||Kingfisher (OK)|
|NFL Draft:||2019 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75|
|Roster status:||Injured reserve/designated for return|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Jace Evan Sternberger (born June 26, 1996) is an American football tight end for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). As a junior at Texas A&M, Sternberger was named a consensus All-American. Prior to his time at Texas A&M, he played football at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and the University of Kansas.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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, wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig's recruiting, and the opportunity to play in the SEC.
During the 2018 season, Sternberger received midseason All-America honors from CBS Sports, the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, Athlon Sports, and ESPN. He was named one of eight semi-finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top collegiate tight end. 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. Despite not being selected as a Mackey Award finalist, Sternberger received first team all-SEC honors and first team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Athlon Sports, CBS Sports, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He earned second-team All-American honors from USA Today. Since Sternberger was recognized by at least two of the five NCAA-recognized All-America team selectors (AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN, and the WCFF), he became a consensus All-American.
Following his lone season at A&M, Sternberger decided to forego 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.
Sternberger was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round (75th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. On June 10, 2019, he signed his rookie contract. On September 3, 2019 Sternberger was placed on injured reserve to start the 2019 season. He was designated for return from injured reserve and began practicing on October 16, 2019.
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. 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 the childhood friend who died of brain cancer.
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