The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Not in Kansas anymore

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Junior Jace Sternberger hauled in five receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Northwestern.

As Texas A&M’s new man on campus, tight end Jace Sternberger has captured the hearts of Aggie football fans.
A transfer from the University of Kansas, Sternberger was one the first players recruited by A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff. However, the Aggies could have lost out on him if it wasn’t for wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig.
While on the lookout for tight ends, Craig came across Sternberger’s highlight reel and quickly came to see a valuable player in him despite the lack of playing time at Kansas.
Sternberger moved to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for his sophomore season, completing 21 catches for 336 yards and securing six touchdowns in 2016 — a record that was sure to top his one reception for five yards while at Kansas.
“[Dameyune Craig] did some research that he was in Kansas and went to [junior college] and he’s not the starter,” Fisher said. “I said, ‘Well why?’ and he said, ‘But I’m telling you, the guy’s a really good player,’ [Tim Brewster] looked at the film, I looked at the film, we all looked at it…and it was just a great job by our staff of evaluating a good player.”
It didn’t take long for Fisher to see the benefits of adding Sternberger to their roster during practices and drills. Fisher said Sternberger has the work ethic of a true old school football player.
“Once you get a hold of him, I mean he’s so fun to coach in practice and like I said he should have played in 1955…” Fisher said. “He doesn’t have a slowdown button and he loves the game.”
With all eyes on the new tight end, Sternberger continued his offensive reign in the Aggies’ season opener against the Northwestern State Demons, adding two more touchdowns to his résumé. He said his first time in front a big A&M crowd was an eye-opening experience.

“It was great,” Sternberger said. “You can try to get prepared for Kyle Field, but whenever you experience it for the first time, you just got to embrace it. Warm ups I was kind of like ‘Oh this is really cool,’ then running out of that tunnel it was like ‘Woah, this is big boy football.’”

A major piece of Fisher’s strategy for the season is making better use of the tight ends, keeping players like Sternberger on the field longer. Sternberger said this allows for more options on the field.

“Trevor [Wood] and even [Ryan] Renick and [Glenn] Beal have been great assets to this team,” Sternberger said. “Being able to play two tight ends in a game has really opened up our play book. We can go out and execute wherever we need to. I feel like Trevor [Wood] being healthy is going to be a great thing.”

Sternberger said playing time was a big part of why he chose to leave Kansas and come to A&M. 

“I love being in the game a lot,” Sternberger said. “I love how [many] tight end sets we do. That’s one of the things coach Fisher told me we were going to do when he was recruiting me, so to see that follow up felt good.”

Just days before A&M’s matchup against No. 2 Clemson, Sternberger was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week for his efforts in week one. This award highlights individual players from tight ends during the football season.

Aside from the attention on the field, Sternberger is receiving more attention off the field than he expected when first transferring to A&M.

“I’ve never really noticed A&M needed a tight end that much but I’m very aware now,” Sternberger said. “It’s a great situation to be in. I’d say it’s been a little excessive, but I’m not complaining.”

As far as his thoughts on matching up against a stacked Clemson defense, Sternberger said the Aggies go into every practice with a strong, competitive mindset.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity,” Sternberger said. “Week in and week out, though, when we practice, I try to approach the teams we play as [if] everybody is the first-round pick because that’s obviously my dream to be one day and everybody’s dream to be one day.”

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