Sterns brothers ready to shine for Hilltoppers in 2021
Jerreth and Josh Sterns come from an athletic family.
While the two brothers have played football from the start, their three brothers have also enjoyed successful football careers. Caden Sterns played safety at Texas and is now a member of the Denver Broncos organization, Jamison Sterns played running back at West Texas A&M, and Jordan Sterns played safety at Oklahoma State and for the Kansas City Chiefs organization. In addition to the group of brothers being football players, their father, James, played basketball at Baylor.
Jerreth and Josh, both Waxahachie, Texas natives who starred at Waxahachie High School and then at FCS program Houston Baptist, are now at Western Kentucky and entering their first seasons with the Hilltoppers' program – giving the duo yet another place to play together.
"It just makes everything more fun," Jerreth said of having been teammates with his brother for so long. "He's my best friend – we do everything together. We both go through the grind together, so it just makes it a lot more fun. It's just a blessing to be able to play together for so long."
The wide receivers come to The Hill after excelling at HBU in an offensive system operated by offensive coordinator Zach Kittley and quarterback Bailey Zappe, who are now both in the same positions at WKU alongside the Sterns brothers.
While Jerreth – now a junior – tallied 1,971 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons at HBU, Josh – now a freshman – recorded 13 receptions for 403 yards and four TDs in just four games in 2020. Under Kittley's direction, HBU averaged 547.5 yards per game last season.
"It makes it a lot easier transferring here," Josh said. "We knew the offense, we knew Bailey and we knew coach Kittley, so we didn't have to start brand new with no relationships here. It was an easy transition coming here."
"Coming all the way from Texas, having some familiar faces around us has made it a lot easier," Jerreth added. "We kind of just feel at home."
When asked what they each bring to the table, Josh said he's a deep threat, while Jerreth compared himself to NFL stars such as Cole Beasley and Julian Edelman – meaning that he makes the tough catches and consistently moves the chains for first downs.
"I love the offense because of how much we pass. It's a pass-first offense," Josh said. "I feel like this year the offense is going to make tons of noise compared to what they were expecting. I feel like this year we're going to be able to put up high-scoring games."
Although Josh said that Kittley's offense is a pass-first type of system, Jerreth made it clear that WKU has some talented running backs and it won't be a surprise if Kittley calls running plays early into drives.
"I would say to expect a fast tempo," Jerreth said. "We just like to push the ball and push the tempo a lot. Coach Kittley will run the ball if we can. I wouldn't say pass-first; I would just say whatever it takes to score a lot of points.
Outside of playing football, Jerreth and Josh said they enjoy bowling – Jerreth even noted that he's on the pursuit to be the next PBA champion. When asked who was the better bowler out of the two of them, they both agreed that it was Jerreth.
Heading into the team's September 2 season opener against Tennessee-Martin, the brothers said they're both excited – and humbled – to be able to now compete at the FBS level.
"I'm super excited," Jerreth said. "I've worked my whole life to be able to play at the FBS level and just prove what we can do. It's a blessing that coach Helton gave us the opportunity."