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Q&A With Jerreth Sterns: Setting Records At Western Kentucky, NFL Combine Snub, Connection With Bailey Zappe

Jerreth Sterns of Western Kentucky.

BOCA RATON, FL - DECEMBER 18: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers wide receiver Jerreth Sterns (8) looks at the official after scoring a touchdown during the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Appalachian State Mountaineers on December 18, 2021 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, FL. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jerreth Sterns certainly finished his college career on a high note, leading the country in receptions and receiving yards in 2021. After the season was over, the Western Kentucky star announced that he's declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Sterns was always a savvy playmaker for the Hilltoppers, but his production in 2021 was something else. In 14 games, he managed to haul in 150 passes for 1,902 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Unsurprisingly, Sterns received an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl this offseason. As a result, he had the chance to showcase his skillset in front of several NFL coaches and scouts.

Despite his jaw-dropping production at Western Kentucky, Sterns wasn't invited to the NFL Combine. It was an unfortunate moment for him, but he plans on using it as motivation.

We caught up with Jerreth Sterns to discuss his Western Kentucky career, NFL Combine snub, biggest strength and much more.

The Spun: What's this adjustment period been like going from college to the pros?

Jerreth Sterns: It’s been a long process for sure. I’m trying to take it one day at a time. It’s the biggest job interview of our lives, with the pro day and things like that.

The Spun: You had an incredible 2021 season. What would you say led to that production?

JS: Honestly, just a lot of hard work and consistency with how I approach practice every day. It also helps that I have great chemistry with Bailey Zappe on the field.

The Spun: What was your connection like with Bailey Zappe? How good of a quarterback do you think he can be at the next level?

JS: Our connection was great. I think he fully trusted me, and I always trusted him. As far as the next level goes, I think Bailey is going to be super successful. He’s a hard-working guy and he’s super tough.

The Spun: Do you have a favorite moment from the 2021 season?

JS: My favorite moment was winning the Boca Raton Bowl against App State.

The Spun: You have the most red-zone targets without a drop at the collegiate level since 2020. How much pride do you take in stats like that?

JS: It’s one of those stats I had no idea of until I saw it on Twitter. I definitely take pride in that statistic though because the most important thing for receivers is to catch the football. I feel like my catching ability is my best trait.

The Spun: You mentioned your best trait. What’s one part of your game you’re trying to improve?

JS: Recently, I’ve been working a lot on releases and being able to locate the defenders’ hands when they jam me at the line of scrimmage.

The Spun: What’s your mindset heading into your pro day?

JS: I’m just working hard right now. My goal is to show these teams that I’m faster than they think I am. With hard work and patience, I think that’ll come.

The Spun: What was your reaction to the NFL Combine snub?

JS: Obviously, I use it to fuel the fire. I’ve been slept on my whole career. There are plenty of players who weren’t invited to the combine that went on to have great careers. So I think I’ll be just fine as long as I keep working.

The Spun: Who is your favorite wide receiver to study on film?

JS:I’d say Cole Beasley is my favorite because of his route running and things like that. I also like to watch Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman.

The Spun: How do you approach catching a pass in traffic?

JS: At the end of the day, you’re going to get hit either way. So you might as well catch it. You got to just trust your quarterback to put the ball in a spot where you won’t take a crushing hit.

The Spun: What’s been your motivation throughout this process?

JS: I just want to prove people wrong. I also want to do this for my mom and younger brother.

The Spun: What will allow you to have success at the next level?

JS: I think I’m a savvy route-runner. I’m quick and decisive with my decisions.

The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Jerreth Sterns?

JS: You’re getting a consistent guy who shows up with the same mentality every day. I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

Though he isn't the No. 1 rated wide receiver in this year's class, Jerreth Sterns is a name that football fans need to know before this year's draft.

Sterns will have the chance to boost his draft stock at his pro day later this year.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.