Kincade declares for draft, Zappe and Sterns continue to garner attention


Brittany Fisher

Western Kentucky University defensive back Antwon Kincade (1) tackles 49ers running back Calvin Camp (5) during the 2021 homecoming game on Oct. 30.

Wyatt Sparkman, Football reporter

The Hilltoppers’ regular season is over, but the program is still generating news. Two of the team’s impact players earned more recognition for their play and another key figure has announced his future plans:

Sterns, Zappe pull in more honors

Standout wide receiver Jerreth Sterns accepted an invite to the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl on Monday, becoming the eighth player in program history to do so and the first Hilltopper to accept such an invitation since both Jared Dangerfield and Brandon Doughty back in 2016.

The game serves as a way to support Shriners Childrens while showcasing top college talent and will be held at the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 3, 2022. It will be broadcast via the NFL Network.

Star quarterback Bailey Zappe was named a Manning Award Finalist on Friday, joining a list of nine other potential winners of the prestigious honor that includes names such as Bryce Young, Kenny Pickett and C.J. Stroud. 

The honor was created in 2004 in honor of the collegiate feats of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning and stands to recognize the best quarterback in college football, taking into account players’ conference championship and bowl game stats. The winner will be announced in January and the honor has never gone to a Group of Five athlete. WKU’s Doughty was also named a finalist in 2015.

Kincade is draft-bound

WKU senior safety Antwon Kincade announced via his Instagram Monday that he will enter the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Kincade has tallied a career-high of 90 total tackles and 49 solo tackles in 2021. Kincade picked up his only interception of the year against Old Dominion on October 16. 

The Jacksonville, Florida, native has totaled 316 tackles and 11 tackles-for-loss with 26 passes defended in his time on the Hill. He has four career interceptions with two coming in 2019. 

The Hilltoppers will play Appalachian State on Dec. 18 in the Boca Raton Bowl. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. 

Football reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @wyattsparkman3.