GREEN BAY – Four years ago, Jace Sternberger wouldn’t have believed any of this was possible.
Not the consensus All-American nod. Not the third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Not the opportunity to catch passes from two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Yet, on the heels of a remarkable season at Texas A&M, the 6-foot-4, 251-pound tight end realized a once-unfathomable dream Friday when the Packers drafted Sternberger with the 75th overall pick.
The sixth tight end taken in this year’s draft, Sternberger is the first the Packers have selected at the position since Kennard Backman in 2015.
Asked whether any of this would’ve been conceivable a year ago, Sternberger laughs while admitting: “Not at all.”
“If you were to tell me (then) that Aaron Rodgers would be my quarterback in about four years, I would have laughed at you and called you a liar,” Sternberger said. “But it’s why you prepare the way you do and God is great.”
Those familiar with Sternberger’s story understand this overnight success was years in the making. A two-star recruit out of high school, Sternberger weathered three different offensive coordinators in two years at the University of Kansas, catching a single pass as a redshirt freshman.
Looking for a chance at a fresh start, he transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in 2017. After catching 21 passes for 336 yards and six touchdowns, Sternberger caught the eye of FBS programs throughout the country and Jimbo Fisher, who recruited him to play at Texas A&M.