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'I'm still learning': Riders' Sterns making impact in second CFL season

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Saskatchewan Roughriders’ receiver Jerreth Sterns is looking to excel in his first full season in the Canadian Football League [CFL] after suiting up for 11 games in 2023.

“I’m still learning. I’m a young guy in the league. So I’m learning from the guys who’ve been here awhile. Still putting things in my bag and watching guys,” Sterns said.

In his 11 games last season Sterns recorded 44 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown. During training camp and heading into the season Sterns was seen primarily working with the ‘ones’, which solidified his spot as a starter in week one against Edmonton. After spending time with the National Football League’s [NFL] Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent and later the Los Angeles Rams on a reserve-future contact he approaches everything with cautious optimism.

“It was exciting. I mean a great opportunity [is] ahead of me. At the end of the day there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for all the receivers on this offence. So I’m just grateful for those and just going to continue to make the most of mine,” Sterns said.

In his Week 1 performance against the Elks, Sterns had a team high seven catches which resulted in 81 receiving yards and quarterback Trevor Harris, was quick to praise him after the game.

“Insane route runner. He’s very technical. He understands depth, he understands timing. He’s just so smooth. I call him ‘J-smooth’,” Harris joked to reporters. “He’s just one of those guys where you can count on him to win and he’s very difficult to defend because he makes all of his routes the same and we’re really fortunate to have him.”

Harris never had the opportunity to play with Sterns last season. He was taken out with a season ending injury before Sterns officially suited up with the Riders in August after signing with the team in July 2023. However, the two have already built chemistry on the field this season.

“I watched [him] a lot. I was hurt and I wasn’t just sitting at home. I was working hard and making sure that I was watching these guys. So if I had the opportunity to play with them, I would have a better understanding of who they were as receivers,” Harris said.

“Just a lot of training with him,” said Sterns about his connection with Harris. “Trevor got all the guys out here early. All the vets. We bonded through that. He does a good job of explaining what he wants out of the receivers on certain plays. So I try to do that and be where I’m supposed to be.”

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