Spread WR: Part II.
job pushing off the CB, and then going back and sliding into the dirt to
catch the ball. He has some suddenness in his shoulders breaking inside in
routes. Runs routes at different speeds. He will go a little slower inside
sometimes. Nice going up and catching the high pass over the
middle. Elite production against every school on every level. He has
great ball skills and can make the circus catch. Great returner with great
instincts with the ball in his hands.
returned the opening kickoff at the Senior Bowl. He had a great one handed
catch at the Senior Bowl. Runs outs and drags fast. He has some great
speed in the open field, and runs away from defenders. Terrific job
holding off the CB with one hand and then catching the ball with two hands
as he crashes into the endzone. You have to be able to catch the ball
through contact in the NFL, and he does. He blocks for his teammates
with varying results.
will line up in the slot and curl over the middle, and when his teammate
catches the ball he will run downfield and block for him. He will also
line up in the slot, and block outside on the CB on a bubble screen. Not a
great blocker. He needs to grab and hold with some more grit. He
played in the Slot a lot, and that could be his role in the NFL. He
stepped up remarkably every time he stepped up to a higher level of competition. Great
job using his hands and arms to fight off DBs running in patterns. He
looks like a boxer running down field sometimes.
was an ultra productive small school WR. "I'm not going into
this trying to do anything other than play football and enjoy my time out
here," Kupp said. "Before anyone sees you (play), before anyone
watches any film, you are tagged as a possession guy, probably tight, not
great hips. I don't go into workouts motivated to prove anyone wrong. I'm
just going to be me, and continue to work hard on every part of my
game." Terrific hands to catch ever kind of ball.
can get open on the 3rd level against FBS competition. "I like
this kid," Mayock said. "He's fast. He won deep. He won shallow.
He beat press coverage. He can win at all three levels. And he gets it. I
think he's going to play and play well very early in his NFL career."
I had trouble finding a spot for him in the 2nd.
is a great practice player, and was the top WR in practice at the Senior
Bowl. "EWU WR Cooper Kupp really helping himself at Senior
Bowl," Gil Bryant wrote. "If he runs well at combine, possible
he sneaks into Round 1." He didn't run as well as expected at the
ran better at his Proday. "It feels good," Kupp said.
"It's nice to create some momentum, some buzz. But I'm really just
playing my game, regardless of what people are saying. I'm just going to
be me. Whether they're saying something or not, I'm going to be that same
player." Nice size, and can really make adjustments to the ball
in the air, both low and high as well.
ran an elite 6.53 3-Cone Drill at his Proday, which would have made him a
Patriot in the 3rd if the Pats needed a WR. "WR Cooper Kupp (6-1 1/2, 202) ran the 40 in 4.56 and 4.59 seconds (ran 4.62 at the combine), had a 29.5-inch vertical, a 4.12-second short shuttle, and
a 6.53-second three-cone," Gil Brandt wrote. "He stood on the rest of his numbers from Indianapolis. This is a very solid player who had a good, plus workout."
They will not draft a WR under any circumstance in this Draft.
played in a spread offense with a limited route tree. "He's been
running by guys all week," Peterman said. "Great in his routes,
very disciplined. He understands what quarterbacks are looking for, so he
does a good job out there." But he showed great instincts
finding holes in the secondary to get open.
seemed to naturally get open running patterns. "There's
always so much to improve on," Kupp said. "I enjoy being out
here, but then I go back and start thinking 'I need to improve on this,
this and this.' There's a lot of stuff I felt like I could improve on, and
stuff I felt like I did as well as I wanted to. I'm always going to be
under construction." He works on his craft and took pride in doing it
Versus Pac-12: Eastern was 2-2 versus the Pac-12 Conference in
Kupp’s four seasons at Eastern, piling up 11 touchdowns receiving on a
total of 40 catches for 716 yards. That’s an average of 17.9 yards per
catch and a TD every 3.6 grabs against the four Pac-12 schools in the
Pacific Northwest – Washington State, Washington, Oregon and Oregon
State. In his first game since deciding to return to Eastern for his
senior football season, Kupp helped EWU beat Washington State (9/3/16)
45-42. He had 12 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns, as the
three-time All-America receiver broke the NCAA Football Championship
Subdivision record, finishing the game with 59. He also completed a pass
for 22 yards against the Cougars, and rushed twice for 29 yards.
"Today, the best player on the field was Cooper Kupp," said
Washington State head coach Mike Leach, whose team had nine victories and
won a bowl game in 2015, then won eight more in 2016. As a junior, Kupp
set Autzen Stadium records of 15 catches for 246 yards against Oregon,
including three TD grabs. The year before that he caught eight passes for
145 yards and three touchdowns against Washington -- the former team his
grandfather, Jake Kupp, played for before becoming a Hall of Fame
offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints. As a redshirt freshman in
2013, in his first collegiate game, Kupp caught five passes for 119 yards
and two scores against OSU. The Eagles upset the 25th-ranked Beavers
49-46, becoming just the fourth FCS team to beat a ranked squad from the
NCAA Football Bowl Championship Subdivision.
you get these small school guys, it is so important when you can judge
them against FBS schools. The best news with Kupp is that he was at his
best against the best schools. The better the school, the better he
played. When he played FBS teams he owned them. Like in 2014 when
he played against Washington. "He had seven receiving performances
of at least 100 yards as a sophomore. He was the College Football
Performance Awards wide receiver performer of the week when he finished
with eight receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns against
Washington (9/6/14)," That was a team that had Buddha Baker,
Sydney Jones, Kevin King, and Marcus Peters in the secondary.
2015 He played Oregon at home. "Earlier in the season, on his way to
earning Big Sky Conference ROOT Sports co-Offensive Player of the Week
accolades, Kupp finished with then career highs of 15 catches for 246
yards, both Autzen Stadium records, in a 61-42 loss to Oregon (9/515)."
They lost on the road.
played in the spread offense, and showed a nice knack for running after
the catch (:01). Inside slot guy. They ran a screen to him. He was
dynamic with the ball in his hands. Plays faster than he times, and he is
a fighter on the field (:15). Slot guy on the right. Nice release to
get by the OLB (:54). Then he broke open over the middle
25-yards downfield. And he just kept running.
caught the ball through contact on the sideline (1:06). Inside slot
guy on right (1:16). Outside guy bottom of the screen. Watch him
plant the outside foot and break inside. He caught it easily, and whipped
back around outside, and almost straight armed his way to a
TD (1:28). He is bigger and stronger than he
looks (1:47). He was almost 6-2 almost 200-pounds at the Senior
of the screen. I like how he used his feet to get the Corner to think he
was going outside, and then ran through him inside (2:01). Then
he went low and snagged it with his hands (2:20). He caught the
ball curling inside from the Slot (2:27). Then watch how he
turned it into a Punt return. He lowered his helmet into the Safety and
got the outside shoulder of the DB, then watch how he curved inside a
little. Then snapped outside. That is some terrific route running (2:47). Slot
right. He found a hole in the zone and sunk into it. Then he saw the QB
had the ball, and broke left into the open spot. He turned up field for
the 1st (3:02). Slot guy on the left. Watch the nice feet as he
waited for the pick. Then just ran past the CB for the TD on the
Fade (3:14). Watch how he extended his arms and caught the ball
away from his body (3:34). That was his third TD, and he was
going again Ekpre Olomu (who I had rated as a 1st Round Corner before his
Vs Oregon 2015:
played against another FBS school in 2016, Washington State. He is a good
and willing blocker. He went for the inside guy, saw his teammate got him,
and burst outside and crashed into the DB with a nice
block (:22). He curled over the middle and was
tripled (:27). He just dragged over the
middle (:33). He knows how to find the cracks in the
zone (:40). One way to understand how good a player is, is by
looking at how much they game planned against him. He has been doubled and
tripled on every play so far. The Wash ST coaches clearly feared him.
was dynamic with the ball in his hands, and should return punts from day
one (:53). He lined up more outside this
season (1:02). He knows how to run patterns to get open. He
curled inside the CB and behind the LB to find the open
space (1:08). Then when he got the ball in space he turned it
into a punt return. He didn't have the best Forty at the combine, but he
was clearly field fast.
QB kept looking away from him, and he had to keep coming back to him. He
leaped in front of three defenders to catch that ball (1:36). He
played in the slot as well. Watch the hand fighting as he grabbed the LB's
hand and kept slapping it off (1:45). Watch the hitch and go. He
faked the inside break at the LB (1:52). You can see he saw the
QB moving to the left, so he turned back to his left (2:02). And
was somehow all alone in the Endzone. Watch the great hitch, and
adjustment to the QB taking off. He just gets it on the field.
the little hitch to the fade. Then he reached out with one hand, while
holding off the DB with the other, and pulled the ball in with one hand
from behind the CB. That was just a great catch (2:12). They
dropped, and he dragged under them (2:37). Watch the quick break
outside (2:48). This guy just knows how to get open
naturally (2:55). Remember this is essentially a Division Two
school playing a Division One school and he is carving them up like
pumpkin pie (that's for you Mel). That was a better catch on replay.
in the slot. He just curved inside and caught the ball through the hit (3:34). Seam
route. Watch how he leaped up high and snagged the ball (3:52). Wow,
he just garnered 12 catches for 206 yards and 3 TDs.
Vs Washington ST 2016:
2016 & 2015 FCS ADA NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2015 WALTER PAYTON AWARD WINNER
2015 STATS NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2013 JERRY RICE AWARD WINNER
(top freshman in FCS)
Four-Time Consensus First Team
Three-Time Academic All-American
Career Honors: Kupp was a consensus FCS All-American for the fourth-straight season, but now sets his sights on the NFL Draft on April 27-29 in Philadelphia, Pa. The NFL Combine is Feb. 28-March 6 in Indianapolis, Ind., and he has also been invited to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala., at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time on the NFL Network. Kupp is training in Irvine, Calif., and is being represented by Ryan Tollner and REP 1 Sports. Kupp earned first team All-America honors on all eight 2016 teams announced, bringing his total of All-America honors won in four seasons to 30 (all first team, including nine in 2013, six in 2014, seven in 2015 and eight in 2016). In addition, he earned 14 different national player of the year accolades in his career and was a three-time Academic All-America selection. In 2016, Kupp became the first wide receiver and just the fourth player overall in the 54-year history of the Big Sky Conference to earn first team All-Big Sky honors four seasons. The others are Weber State’s Trevyn Smith (RB 2006-09), Weber State’s Scott Shields (Kicker 1995-97, Punter 1996, Strong Safety 1998) and Charvez Foger (RB 1985-88). In 2015, Kupp became only the second wide receiver in 42 years to capture the Big Sky Conference Offensive MVP Award, then became one of only 10 repeat winners in league history in 2016. Eastern players have now won the honor 12 times in the last 16 seasons, and 13 times overall. He and quarterback Gage Gubrud shared the 2016 honor, becoming the first teammates in the history of the league to be honored as co-MVPs. Kupp was also a two-time team co-captain, was honored four times on the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team and was twice selected as an Academic All-Star by the FCS Athletic Director’s Association. He was honored as Big Sky Conference Player of the Week six times in his career – four times on offense and twice on special teams.
Career Records: He established 15 FCS, 11 Big Sky and 26 EWU records in his illustrious 52-game Eastern career (all as a starter), and added a collegiate all-division mark. With a pair of early catches in the first quarter against Richmond (12/10/16), he surpassed the NAIA record of 6,177 by Chris George of Glenville State from 1991-94 after surpassing NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III records earlier in the 2016 season. His 6,464 yards, 428 receptions, 73 touchdown catches, 124.3 average yards per game and 1.40 average TDs per game were all FCS records. Kupp averaged a TD reception for every 5.9 catches in his career. He scored at least once in 43 of 52 games he played, and caught at least two passes in all 52 games he played. He had 30 performances of at least eight catches (16 with 10 or more) and a FCS record of 31 with at least 100 receiving yards. He had the first rushing touchdown of his career and a punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter versus Idaho State (11/12/16), setting the stage in the fourth period for him to break the FCS record of 395 set by Elon's Terrell Hudgins from 2006-09. He tied and broke the record in the 48-31 win over ISU on short catches of 8 and 3 yards from backup quarterback Jordan West, also an Eagle senior. Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin promptly called timeout and presented the reigning Payton Award and FCS Offensive Player of the Year the record-breaking ball. Kupp had previously exceeded the FBS record of 387 held by Justin Hardy of East Carolina from 2011-14, making him the all-time NCAA Division I leader for receptions, in addition to yards and TDs. Kupp broke a FCS all-time mark versus Montana (10/29/16) when he caught a pass in his 46th-straight game, and extended it to 52. Jacksonville State’s Josh Barge had a streak of 50 in a row, but his season concluded on Dec. 3. He and Kupp passed the record of 45 originally set by Marcus Lee of Towson (2005-08), then tied by current EWU wide receivers coach Nicholas Edwards (2009-12) and Tyrone Walker from Illinois State from (2009-12). Kupp and teammate Kendrick Bourne combined for FCS records for combined career catches (639) and combined career yards (9,594). His other six FCS records were set during his freshman season. Kupp broke the school record for career all-purpose yards at Montana State (10/22/16) – he finished with 7,038 to break the previous record of 5,934 set by Eric Kimble from 2002-05. He ranks second in Big Sky history, and the only player ahead of him is Charles Roberts (Sacramento State, 1997-00) with a record total of 7,112. Roberts was a running back, as Kupp bested the top receiver on the list, Fred Amey from Sacramento State, with 6,343 from 2001-04. With a 12-catch, 274-yard performance against UC Davis on Oct. 1, Kupp broke the FCS record for career receiving yards. Kupp’s 274 yards in that game were one away from the school record he had in his junior season against Northern Colorado. His final total of 6,464 career yards broke the record of 5,250 set by Elon's Terrell Hudgins from 2006-09. Kupp previously exceeded the FBS record for reception yards, which was 5,005 set by Trevor Insley of Nevada from 1996-99 before being broken by Corey Davis from Western Michigan with 5,278 from 2013-16. Kupp also surpassed the records in NCAA Division II (4,983, Clarence Coleman, Ferris State, 1998-01) and Division III (6,108, Scott Pingel, Westminster, 1996-99), as well as the NAIA record (6,177, Chris George, Glenville State, 1991-94). Kupp broke the FCS record for career TD catches with a three touchdown day at Washington State on Sept. 3, breaking the previous FCS record of 58 set by New Hampshire’s David Ball from 2003-06. Closing with 73 in his career, Kupp equaled and then exceeded the FBS record as well against North Dakota State (9/10/16). He had his 60th early in the second quarter to tie the mark of 60 set by Jarett Dillard of Rice from 2005-08, then had his 61st later in the quarter. Kupp finished behind the NCAA Division II record of 78 set by Dallas Mall of Bentley from 2001-04 and the NCAA Division III record is 75 set by Scott Pingel of Westminster (Mo.) from 1996-99, but Kupp has also exceeded the NAIA record of 59 set by Alvin Ashley of Southwest State (Minn.) from 1990-93. The senior piled up Big Sky Conference and school records with 77 touchdowns in his career, good for a record total of 464 points. Both marks also rank fourth all-time in FCS history behind a trio of running backs. The previous league records were 61 TDs (Charles Dunn, Portland State, 1997-00 and Sherriden May, Idaho, 1991-94) and 413 points (Dan Carpenter, Montana, 2004-07). Of his 77 touchdowns, Kupp scored 73 via receiving, three on punt returns (school record) and one via rushing. He also passed for four scores, thus accounting for 81 in his career. In all, his yardage in receptions, returns and passing totaled 7,218 yards (138.8 per game). On single season lists, Kupp finished his career with the 1-2-3-5 season marks in receptions, 2-3-4-6 in yards and 1-2-5-7 in TD catches. From his freshman to senior seasons, he had season yardage totals of 1,691, 1,431, 1,642 and 1,700; catch totals of 93, 104, 114, 117; and receiving touchdown performances of 21, 16, 19, 17. He finished his career with 37 plays of at least 40 yards, including 33 receptions and four punt returns.
Career Versus Pac-12: Eastern was 2-2 versus the Pac-12 Conference in Kupp’s four seasons at Eastern, piling up 11 touchdowns receiving on a total of 40 catches for 716 yards. That’s an average of 17.9 yards per catch and a TD every 3.6 grabs against the four Pac-12 schools in the Pacific Northwest – Washington State, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State. In his first game since deciding to return to Eastern for his senior football season, Kupp helped EWU beat Washington State (9/3/16) 45-42. He had 12 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns, as the three-time All-America receiver broke the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record, finishing the game with 59. He also completed a pass for 22 yards against the Cougars, and rushed twice for 29 yards. "Today, the best player on the field was Cooper Kupp," said Washington State head coach Mike Leach, whose team had nine victories and won a bowl game in 2015, then won eight more in 2016. As a junior, Kupp set Autzen Stadium records of 15 catches for 246 yards against Oregon, including three TD grabs. The year before that he caught eight passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns against Washington -- the former team his grandfather, Jake Kupp, played for before becoming a Hall of Fame offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints. As a redshirt freshman in 2013, in his first collegiate game, Kupp caught five passes for 119 yards and two scores against OSU. The Eagles upset the 25th-ranked Beavers 49-46, becoming just the fourth FCS team to beat a ranked squad from the NCAA Football Bowl Championship Subdivision.
Career Versus Montana: His numbers in his career versus rival Montana were eye-popping, but the numbers that meant the most to Kupp were 5-1 and 10-1. Those are the win-loss records for Eastern over Montana and collectively against UM and Montana State since he arrived on campus in 2012. In five games he played versus the Montana Grizzlies, Kupp had 50 touches against the Griz, resulting in an average of 16.8 yards, eight touchdowns and one 54-yard play down to the Montana 2-yard line. He had career totals of 45 catches for 660 yards and six touchdowns in five games against the Griz, as well as a punt return for a TD and a passing score. He was 2-of-2 passing versus Montana, including a 54-yard pass to quarterback Gage Gubrud that set-up a score in the 2016 meeting and a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne in 2015. He has had three punt returns for 103 yards and an average of 34.3 yards per return.
Other Career Accomplishments/Notes: Kupp led EWU to 41 victories overall in four seasons, including a 28-4 record in the Big Sky Conference. Eastern won two outright Big Sky Conference championships, a co-title his senior season, had two unbeaten league seasons and helped EWU advance to the NCAA Football Championship Playoff berths as a freshman, sophomore and senior. Twice Eastern advanced to the semifinals and once to the quarterfinal round. In June 2016, he concluded his fourth year working at the Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach. While in high school he previously attended the camp, which is run by Archie Manning, the father of NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning. Archie is a former New Orleans Saints teammate of Cooper’s grandfather, Jake Kupp. Cooper was able to play two seasons at Eastern with his younger brother, Ketner. As a sophomore linebacker for the Eagles in 2016, Ketner started five games and finished with 67 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. He made his starting debut against top-ranked and five-time defending champion North Dakota State on Sept. 10, 2016, and finished with eight tackles. He played in all 11 Eastern games as a true freshman in 2015, finishing with 19 tackles and an interception.
2016 Season Honors: Kupp was selected by the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Director’s Association as a repeat selection for its FCS Offensive Player of the Year Award announced Jan. 5, 2017. Although Kupp was unable to attend the NCAA Division I Championship Game on Jan. 7 where he was recognized for winning the honor for the second-straight year, head coach Beau Baldwin and quarterback Gage Gubrud represented him. In addition, a year after winning the award, Kupp finished second in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, presented by STATS to the top offensive player in FCS. He also received the President’s Award by the Columbus Touchdown Club. He earned first team All-America honors on all eight teams announced to become a consensus All-American for the fourth-straight season. His All-America honors included recognition as the FCS Athletic Director’s Association Wide Receiver of the Year. He was also honored for the fourth-straight year on teams selected by the American Football Coaches Association, STATS and Associated Press, and for the third time by the Walter Camp Football Foundation (2013-2015-2016). In addition, he was honored in 2016 by College Sports Madness, Hero Sports and Athlon Sports. Gubrud and Kupp were honored on Nov. 22 as the Big Sky Conference co-Offensive MVPs, the first time in league history two players from the same team were selected by the coaches to share the award. Both were unanimous selections as first team selections in the league, with Kupp also becoming just the fourth player in league history to earn first team all-league all four seasons. In addition, he earned second team All-Big Sky honors as a return specialist. An economics graduate with a 3.63 grade point average, Kupp earned Academic All-America honors for the third-straight season in 2016, earning first team honors as both a junior and senior. The 24-player squad includes teams from both the Football Championship Subdivision and Football Bowl Subdivision levels. Kupp earned second team Academic All-America honors as a sophomore. Eastern football players have now earned 13 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors since 1989, including seven first-team selections. Nine different players have garnered those honors, including the first three-time winner in Kupp (2014, 2015 and 2016), and repeat performers Steve Mattson (1996 and 1997) and Kyler Randall (2002 and 2003). Kupp was also recognized for the second-straight season on the 19th Annual Academic All-Star Team as selected by the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association. He was one of 44 winners announced among a group of 126 total nominees. A total of 20 awards have now been won by Eagles on the Academic All-Star team since the award began in 1998.
2016 Statistics & Game Honors: Kupp finished with a Big Sky Conference record 117 catches for 1,700 yards and 17 scores in the 2016 season, and accounted for two more scores passing, one rushing and one on a punt return. Including his rushing, passing and return yards, he finished the season with 2,047 yards (157.5 per game) and 21 touchdowns. He missed 1 1/2 games earlier in the season and almost a half at both Portland State (11/18/16) and Central Arkansas (12/3/16) with shoulder injuries. But he led FCS in receiving yards per game (130.8), was second in receptions per game (9.0), and joined teammate Shaq Hill as the FCS leader in receiving touchdowns (17). After a record-breaking performance and stirring victory over Washington State (9/3/16) in his first game since deciding to return to Eastern for his senior football season, Kupp was selected as the STATS National Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 5. He earned the same honor from College Sports Madness, which also selected him as its Big Sky Conference player of the week as well. He had 12 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns, as the three-time All-America receiver broke the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record, finishing the game with 59. He also completed a pass for 22 yards against the Cougars, and rushed twice for 29 yards. With three touchdowns receiving and a 54-yard pass to set-up another score, he helped guide Eastern to a 35-16 victory over Montana (10/29/16) to earn Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors from the league office as well as College Sports Madness. He had eight catches for 140 yards, including TD receptions of 69, 40 and 5 yards. Against 14th-ranked Cal Poly (11/5/16), Kupp actually passed for more touchdowns than he had receiving. Kupp passed for two touchdowns in the third quarter to open up a 35-14 lead, and then he added a TD reception in the fourth quarter to clinch the 42-21 win over the Mustangs. Kupp finished with 11 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown, to go along with his 2-of-2 passing with TD passes of 28 and 10 yards to Shaq Hill. Ahead just 27-17 in the third quarter, Kupp sparked the Eagles to a 48-17 victory over Idaho State (11/12/16) by returning a third-quarter punt 76 yards for a score. It was a school record-tying third of his career, having also had a 76-yarder versus Idaho State in 2015 and a 67-yarder versus Montana in 2014. As a result, Kupp was selected as the Big Sky Conference Special Teams Player of the Week – the sixth time he was honored by the league office in his career (four on offense, two on special teams). Kupp also had the first rushing touchdown of his career earlier in the third quarter versus ISU, setting the stage for a record-breaking performance in the fourth period when he established a new FCS mark for career receptions.
2016 Preseason: Kupp earned preseason honors by Lindy’s Magazine as both its FCS and Big Sky Player of the Year. The Sporting News recognized him as an All-American and the top professional prospect in FCS. In the Big Sky Conference preseason predictions, Kupp was chosen to repeat his league Offensive MVP honor and was a unanimous All-Big Sky performer. Kupp announced on Nov. 30, 2015, he would return for his senior season at EWU in 2016 in lieu of pursuing professional opportunities a year early. “I’ve decided that I want to spend the 2016 season as an Eagle and be part of something great here at Eastern Washington,” he said. “I believe that God has a plan for me and a great plan for Eastern Washington, and I want to be a part of that. I look forward to this off-season and getting Eastern Washington back into the National Championship. I thank Eagle Nation for their support of me and all the Eagles here at Eastern Washington. The successes we experienced this year and in years past, we share with them as well. I want to express my gratitude. I thank everybody for their support for us, and I look forward to seeing everybody out on the Red in 2016. Go Eags.”
2015 Honors: The sensational Eastern Washington University junior wide receiver won his third NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Year honor Jan. 8 in Frisco, Texas, when his name was read among three finalists at the inaugural STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentations. The record-breaking offensive juggernaut edged a pair of running backs – Marshaun Coprich from Illinois State and Kade Harrington from Lamar. Kupp received 34 first-place votes and 378 total to win by narrow margin. Harrington had 349 votes and was picked first on 26 ballots, and Coprich finished with 275 votes and 23 first-place votes. Previously, he became only the second wide receiver to ever win the Payton Award, with Brian Finneran from Villanova winning in 1997. The awards program for the NCAA Football Championship was founded by Mickey Charles and The Sports Network, and is now in its 29th year. But The Sports Network ceased operation in summer of 2015, and the Walter Payton Award and other awards are now independently presented by Mickey Charles LLC. Kupp is the third Eagle to win the honor, with quarterback Erik Meyer honored in 2005 and quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell receiving the award in 2011. Eastern has now won the award three times out of eight total Payton’s won by the Big Sky Conference. Kupp also was the FCS Player of the Year as awarded by the FCS Athletic Director’s Association (FCS ADA). He was also honored as a first team selection on All-America teams announced by the American Football Coaches Association, STATS, Associated Press, the FCS Athletic Director’s Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation and College Sports Madness. The FCS ADA selected him as its recipient of FCS Wide Receiver of the Year and he was also a first team Academic All-American in 2015 as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Eastern football players have now earned 12 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors since 1989, including six first-team selections. Nine different players have garnered those honors, including repeat selections Kupp (2014 and 2015), Steve Mattson (1996 and 1997), and Kyler Randall (2002 and 2003). He earned second team Academic All-America honors as a junior. He was also honored in 2015 as a member of the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team and on the Academic All-District 8 Football Team for the second-straight season. Kupp became only the second wide receiver in 42 years to win the Big Sky Conference Offensive MVP Award, and continued a long legacy of Eagles to win the award. Eastern players have now won the honor 11 times in the last 15 seasons, and 12 times overall.
2015 Statistics & Game Honors: Kupp’s spectacular 2015 season included 114 receptions. That broke the previous school record of 104 he set in 2014 and the league record of 112 set in 2011 by Idaho State’s Rodrick Rumble. His 114 catches ranked eighth all-time in FCS history at the time. In 2015, Kupp led FCS in five categories – receptions, receptions per game (10.4), reception yards (1,642), reception yards per game (149.3) and touchdown receptions (19). The players closest to him in FCS were eight catches, 170 yards and four TDs behind him, and in the league the next-best player for catches was teammate Kendrick Bourne (73) and for yards it was NAU’s Emmanuel Butler (1,208). Eastern led FCS in passing offense with an average of 353.3 yards per game, and were eighth in total offense (478.5). He had school records of 20 catches for 275 yards in a 43-41 win over Northern Colorado (10/24/15) to earn six prestigious honors, including a trio of national player of the week accolades. He was the STATS Offensive Player of the Week, NCAA.com Offensive Player of the Week and was a College Sporting News All-Star. He was also the ROOT Sports/Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week for the second time of his career (three including special teams). Kupp’s catch total against UNC was the eighth-most in FCS history and the most by a wide receiver in Big Sky history (Montana State running back David Pandt had 21 versus EWU in 1985). Kupp’s yards were the 20th-most all-time in the FCS. One week earlier he had a 14-catch performance at Idaho State (10/17/15) in which he had 161 yards and two touchdowns receiving, another TD on a 76-yard punt return and a 24-yard scoring pass to quarterback Jordan West. As a result, he was the College Football Performance Awards National FCS Performer of the Week, a College Sporting News All-Star and received honorable mention National Player of the Week honors from STATS. His punt return against the Bengals earned him ROOT Sports Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Earlier in the season, on his way to earning Big Sky Conference ROOT Sports co-Offensive Player of the Week accolades, Kupp finished with then career highs of 15 catches for 246 yards – both Autzen Stadium records – in a 61-42 loss to Oregon (9/515). In Eastern’s next game at Northern Iowa (9/12/15), Kupp had nine receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns to earn HERO Sports “Stud of the Week” accolades and honorable mention FCS Performer of the Week honors from College Football Performance Awards. In the preseason, Kupp was one of 22 FCS players selected by STATS to the watch list for its FCS Offensive Player of the Year award, and was a first team selection on the STATS preseason FCS All-America team.
2014: He spent the year on the Watch List for the Walter Payton Award, which was presented by The Sports Network to the top player in FCS. He finished 18th in the voting after a record-breaking season that included consensus FCS All-America honors for the second-straight season. He was named first team All-America by six organizations – American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, The Sports Network, College Sports Madness and Beyond Sports Network. In addition, he earned first team All-Big Sky honors for the second-straight season, and was a third team all-league selection as a return specialist. College Sports Madness also honored him as a first team all-league pick and second team as a punt returner. Also, he was selected to Academic All-America Division I football team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Selected to the second team, he was one of only two sophomores among the 50 players honored, with freshmen not eligible. Earlier in the season he joined three other Eagles on the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII team. Kupp finished the season with a FCS-best 104 catches to rank 11th all-time in FCS history at the time (19th player to hit the century mark in a single season). Kupp broke the school record of 95 set in 2011 by his current wide receivers coach, Nick Edwards. He finished second in league history behind the 112 of Idaho State’s Rodrick Rumble, also in 2011. The sophomore’s season total of 16 receiving touchdowns ranked second in FCS (the leader had 17), and he also ranked fifth in receptions per game (8.0, total of 104) and was fifth in receiving yards per game (110.1 per game, total of 1,431). He had seven receiving performances of at least 100 yards as a sophomore. He was the College Football Performance Awards wide receiver performer of the week when he finished with eight receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns against Washington (9/6/14), the school his grandfather played for in the 1960’s. Kupp also received honorable mention honors from CFPA twice during the year – against Montana State (9/20/14) when he had nine catches for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and again two weeks later versus Idaho State when he had eight catches for 132 yards and three scores. He was also the team’s offensive player of the week for his performance against ISU. He closed the year with 10 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns versus Illinois State (12/13/14) in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. One game earlier in the second round of the playoffs, he had a then career-best 12 catches versus Montana (12/6/14). He also added punt returns to his arsenal of big plays, including a 67-yard return for a touchdown against Montana (11/8/14) to earn punt returns performer of the week from College Football Performance Awards. It was the first punt return for a touchdown for the Eagles since Tony Davis had a 60-yard return versus Oregon State on Aug. 31, 2006. A 41-yard punt return by Kupp in the first quarter helped set-up Eastern’s first score of the day against Northern Arizona (10/25/14), earning him EWU’s special teams player of the week honor. He averaged 16.2 on 10 punt returns and would have ranked fourth in FCS if he had enough attempts to qualify (he had 10 and would need 15 to meet the minimum of 1.2 per game). The only game he missed in his career came versus Montana Western (8/30/14) when he was held out for precautionary reasons with a nagging ankle injury.
2013: Was a runaway winner of the Jerry Rice Award, presented by The Sports Network to the top freshman in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Four other media organizations also selected him as their Freshman of the Year (College Sporting News, College Sports Journal, College Sports Madness and Phil Steele Publications). He also won the FCS Wide Receiver Award presented by the College Football Performance Awards. He was a first team All-America selection on nine different teams and was a first team Freshman All-America pick on two squads. As a member of The Sports Network All-America team, he became one of only five freshmen in FCS to earn first team honors since 1990 and the second wide receiver (Randy Moss 1996). Kupp was also a first team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association (the only freshman or sophomore on the squad), College Sporting News (“Fabulous 50”), the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, College Sports Journal, Beyond Sports Network, College Sports Madness and Phil Steele Publications. He was a member of Freshman All-America teams selected by College Sports Journal and Phil Steele Publications. In addition, he was the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year and one of two unanimous first team All-BSC selections (the other was teammate Vernon Adams as both received first-team votes on all 12 ballots as selected by the league’s head coaches). Kupp set a total of six FCS records in his debut season, as well as four school marks and a Big Sky record. The redshirt freshman broke the FCS all-time record for receptions, yards and touchdowns by a freshman with totals of 93 catches, 1,691 yards and 21 TDs (previously held by Randy Moss). He broke the all-time FCS record with a TD catch in 14 consecutive games. He caught two TD passes in seven games and one in the other seven games of the first 14 games of his collegiate career. The previous record was 11, and one of the former record holders was Randy Moss. He combined with second team All-Big Sky wide receiver Ashton Clark for the FCS record for combined receiving yards by two players with a total of 2,924 (Kupp 1,691 and Clark 1,233). His yardage was fourth overall in FCS history at the time and his TD catches were also fourth. The Big Sky record he broke was the 45-year-old record of 20 TD catches set by Ed Bell from Idaho State in 1969. He was fifth in FCS and tops among freshmen in receiving yards per game (112.7), first in total receiving yards and 25th in receptions per game (6.2). Kupp had eight 100-yard receiving games, including a 205-yard game against Idaho State (11/2/13). He also caught eight or more passes seven times, with 11 against both Montana (10/26/13) and Southern Utah (10/19/13). He twice earned Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week honors after wins over Montana (10/26/13) with 11 receptions, 182 yards and two TD, and Cal Poly (11/16/13) with eight catches for 139 yards and two more scores. Four times during the season he earned team offensive player of the week honors. Started all 15 games as a wide receiver in his Eagle debut season. In a sign of things to come, Kupp caught eight passes for 119 yards and had touchdown catches of 27 and 26 yards in EWU’s Red-White Spring Game. In a total of three spring scrimmages, he caught 11 passes for 150 yards and a pair of TDs.
2012: Redshirted. Was selected as Eastern’s Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. Was selected as the team’s offensive scout team player of the week once, and twice for special teams.
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