Sterns named “The Athletic” All-American, joins Wilson and Zappe in All-Portal squad

Steve Roberts, WKU Athletics


Athletic: All-American Teams | Team of all portals

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Football Wide Receiver Jerreth stern was named to the 2021 second-team “The Athletic” all-star, the outlet reported on Wednesday. He is the second Hilltopper to be honored by The Athletic since the website began listing playoff teams in 2017, joining the tight end Joshua Simon, who was a Freshman All-American second team in 2019.

There is no group of five players on the first team attack (three on the first team defense and special teams), while Sterns is a group of five players in 4 on the second team attack ( one on the second defense team). He is the sole representative of Conference USA on both teams, consisting of 50 players in total.

In 13 games this season, Sterns has 137 receptions for 1,718 yards and 14 touchdowns. His averages of 10.54 receptions and 132.2 yards per game lead all FBS receivers by 2.09 and 9.32, respectively, while his 14 scores are tied for third in the country. Sterns’ 137 receptions are the seventh in a single season in FBS history and the most on record by a C-USA player.

Additionally, The Athletic on Thursday named a 2021 All-Portal squad and three WKU players РSterns, offensive guard Boe wilson and quarterback Bailey Zapp̩ Рplaces won. The three Hilltoppers on the 26-man squad were more than any other program; with Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Kentucky, and North Carolina State getting two each.

For the year, Zappe – a transfer from Houston Baptist with Sterns – has 442 of 639 (69.2%) passes for 5,545 yards, with 56 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The FBS all-time single-season distance record is 5,833 by BJ Symons of Texas Tech during his 14-game season in 2003, while the FBS single-season touchdown record is 60 by Joe. LSU Burrow in his 15-game campaign in 2019. A Zappe performance of 289 passing yards and five touchdowns in the Hilltoppers bowl game would eclipse both marks.

Wilson – a transfer from Nebraska – was a key cog in one of the nation’s best offensive lines. According to PFF College, WKU achieved a passing grade of 91.2 for leading all FBS teams; C-USA’s second highest was Marshall, ranked No. 20 with a score of 74.8. The Hilltoppers allowed just 16 sacks, which tied them for 13th in the country despite the 651-pass offensive attempt. Wilson’s 87.9 blocking rating placed second in C-USA behind his only teammate Cole spencer 90.7.

Over the past two days, other media websites have bestowed the following honors on WKU players:

  • PFF College All-American: wide receiver Jerreth stern (third team)
  • 247Sports Transfer Team: Quarterback Bailey Zappé and wide receiver Jerreth stern
  • The draft network: quarterback Bailey Zappé (USA Conference Offensive Player of the Year)
  • Pro Football Network All-American: wide receiver Jerreth stern (First team) and quarterback Bailey Zappé (Second team)
  • Pro Football Network Superlative Awards: quarterback Bailey Zappé – Offensive player of the year and quarterback of the year

The Hilltoppers end their season on Saturday December 18 at Boca Raton Bowl 2021 on Saturday December 18, where WKU (8-5) will face App State (10-3) of the Sun Belt Conference. Kick-off at FAU Stadium is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CT and will air nationally on ESPN.