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Jerreth Sterns hauls in a touchdown pass during his first-ever career NFL preseason game. (Courtesy Tampa Bay Buccaneers/NFL)

Waxahachie’s Jerreth Sterns signs with Saskatchewan Roughriders of Canadian Football League

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

REGINA, Saskatchewan — If Jerreth Sterns didn’t have an updated passport prior, he certainly does now.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League announced Monday morning the signing of the former NFL and Waxahachie High (2018) wide receiver. The 23-year-old Sterns will join a Roughrider wide receiver room that has been bitten hard by the injury bug.

“He just got out here today,” Saskatchewan head coach Craig Dickenson told the media scrum on the field following a Monday afternoon practice. “For his first day, he looked good. He’s new, so he’s certainly not going to play for a while, but he gives us a little more depth.”

Saskatchewan currently has 4 wideouts listed on the 6-week injury list, while two others have been limited or held out of practice heading into week 5 of the CFL season. The Roughriders are currently 2-1 and are coming off of a bye week after defeating the Calgary Stampeders, 29-26, on June 24. 

The Roughriders face the Edmonton Elks on Thursday on TSN. They previously defeated the Elks, 17-13, to open the regular season.

Sterns previously signed a Future’s Contract with the Los Angeles Rams following a short stint with the team to close out the 2022 NFL season. The 2018 Waxahachie grad inked his first NFL contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent ahead of the 2022 season.

Sterns fulfilled a lifelong dream during a preseason game while suited up for the Bucs, hauling in 4 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.

Jerreth Sterns hauls in a touchdown pass during his first-ever career NFL preseason game. (Courtesy Tampa Bay Buccaneers/NFL)

“I wasn’t really worried about [the stats] at the time. I just wanted to win going into the game,” Sterns previously told Buccaneers.com and NFL.com reporters. “It was cool with all that happening and everything. I’ve been dreaming about playing in the NFL since I was seven years old, so it was just a blessing to even be on that field.”

Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles labeled Sterns as “smart and tough” to the NFL media in the week following Sterns’ breakout preseason game.

 “[…] He’s [also] a very intelligent receiver,” Bowles added. “He caught a lot of balls in college. He knows all the positions, and he took advantage of his opportunity.”

Prior to his cup of coffee in the NFL, Sterns capped a remarkable collegiate career that began at Houston Baptist University and ended at Western Kentucky in a slew of NCAA Division I awards, recognitions and records. 

While at HBU from 2018-20, Sterns recorded 18 touchdowns and 1,971 yards on 220 receptions in 27 games. 

He — along with his younger brother Josh and now-New England Patriot quarterback Bailey Zappe — then transferred to Western Kentucky University for the 2021 season. 

That decision and move saw the speedy and physical slot receiver capture the NCAA “Triple Crown” in 2021 — leading WKU and the nation in catches (150), receiving yards (1,902) and touchdown receptions (17).

The reception and yardage totals remain the third- and fifth-highest marks in FBS history. 

Sterns was named to the All-Conference USA first team and a second-team All-American for his efforts. He had previously been tabbed a 2021 Associated Press Midseason All-American and named to the 2021 Earl Cambell Tyler Rose Award Semifinalist and 2021 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists lists. 

“He was a very productive player [in college],” Saskatchewan’s Dickenson added. “A very good player in college, so hopefully, that translates.”


If you’re anything like this American football enthusiast, you are either prepared to begin researching the Canadian Football League rules or sitting with crossed fingers that we’ve already done a little background work.

Well, Ellis County Sports hasn’t…but howtheyplay.com did. 

  • An NFL field is 100 by 53 1/3 yards with a midfield line at 50 yards. A CFL field is 110 by 65 yards, with the midfield line at 55 yards.
  • The end zones are different lengths as well. The CFL has an end zone that is 20 yards deep. The NFL end zones are only 10 yards deep. This means that the total length of the entire field in the NFL is 120 yards, while the CFL field is 150 yards. The CFL also places goalposts at the front of the end zone. 
  • The total number of players on the field in the NFL is 22. There are 11 players on the field for each opposing team. In the CFL, the total is 24. There are 12 players on each opposing side.
  • Both leagues require seven offensive players to be on the line of scrimmage. Because of this, the 12th player on the field in the CFL is typically a backfield position. This has led to the tight end position being commonly removed from the CFL in favor of having two slotbacks.
  • On the defensive side, the CFL has two halfbacks and safety, while the NFL has two safety positions (free and strong safety).
  • The NFL offers four downs for a team to advance the ball 10 yards. The CFL only offers three downs.
  • In the CFL, after the play is over, the referee whistles for the next play to start and the offense has 20 seconds to snap the football.
  • The scoring is essentially the same in both leagues. A safety is two points, a field goal is three points, a touchdown is six points, a kicked extra point is one point, and a conversion run is two points.
  • A notable exception is a single point, or rouge, which is only in the CFL. A single point is awarded to the kicking team when:
  • The kicking team misses a field goal or punts the football and the receiving team does not return the ball out of their end zone. The kicking team then receives one point.
  • The kicking team misses a field goal or punts the football and the ball goes through the end zone and out of bounds without being touched.


Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith


About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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