Eagle Trio Named to The Sports Network All-America Team
Cooper Kupp becomes the fifth freshman since 1990 to earn first team honors, with Vernon Adams Jr. and T.J. Lee III earning second team accolades
Eastern Washington University redshirt freshman wide receiver Cooper Kupp can add another bit of history to his resume.
Just two days after winning the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, he was named to The Sports Network All-America first team on Wednesday (Dec. 18), becoming just the fifth freshman to be named to that team since 1990.
The 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., is one of only two freshmen wide receivers to be named to the first team – the other was Randy Moss in 1996. Two running backs and a defensive back are the others selected since 1990.
In addition to Kupp, Eastern sophomore quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. and senior cornerback T.J. Lee III were named to the TSN All-America second team. Adams was the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, while Lee was only the third Eagle in school history -- and 45th in the 50-year history of the Big Sky Conference – to earn first team all-league honors three times.
Previously, the first FCS All-America team was released on Dec. 6 by College Sports Madness and five Eagles were selected to the first and second teams. Kupp was a first team selection and was the FCS Freshman of the Year, and Lee also earned first team accolades. Named to the second team were Adams, as well as center Ashton Miller and linebacker Ronnie Hamlin.
Adams, Kupp, Miller and Lee also earned first team All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network.
The 12-2 Eagles host Towson this Saturday at 11 a.m. Pacific time in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.
EAGLE NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS AT A GLANCE
Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Freshman – Jerry Rice Award Winner
- The Sports Network first team All-America wide receiver -- one of only five freshmen to earn first team honors since 1990 and the second wide receiver (Randy Moss 1996). Was also a first team All-America selection by Beyond Sports Network, and was the College Sports Madness FCS Freshman of the Year and second team All-America wide receiver.
- 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).
- The redshirt freshman broke the FCS all-time record for receptions, yards and touchdowns by a freshman with current totals of 85 catches, 1,567 yards and 21 TDs (previously held by Randy Moss). His yardage is 13th overall in FCS history and his TD catches are fourth.
- His 111.9 average per game leads all Big Sky receivers and ranks fifth in the nation.
- Broke the all-time FCS record with a TD catch in 14 consecutive games. Has caught two TD passes in seven games and one in the other seven games of his collegiate career. One of the former record holders was Randy Moss.
- Has seven 100-yard receiving games, including a 205-yard game, with at least eight catches in six of his last eight games.
- Twice earned Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week honors after Montana and Cal Poly wins.
Vernon Adams Jr., Quarterback, Sophomore – Walter Payton Award Runner-Up
- The Sports Network Second Team All-America quarterback. He also received first team honors from Beyond Sports Network and second team accolades from College Sports Madness.
- Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year and one of two unanimous first team All-BSC selections (the other was teammate Cooper Kupp as both received first-team votes on all 12 ballots as selected by the league’s head coaches).
- Leads the nation in pass efficiency at 185.7 and is on pace to set a Big Sky single-season record (currently fourth all-time in FCS history).
- Big Sky and school-record 53 touchdown passes lead the nation and are third all-time in FCS.
- Second in the nation with an average of 367.1 yards of total offense per game with a Big Sky and school record total of 5,140 yards (third in FCS history).
- One of four FCS QBs in history to engineer an upset of a top 25 FBS team. Amassed 411 passing yards and four TDs, 107 rush yards and 2 TDs in an upset of Oregon State.
- Led team to Big Sky Championship and No. 3 national ranking. Only losses to FBS Toledo and Sam Houston State.
- Twice earned Sports Network National Offensive Player of the Week honors after Oregon State and Montana State wins.
T.J. Lee III, Cornerback, Senior – All-American
- Beyond Sports Network first team All-America cornerback, and a second team choice by College Sports Madness
- Only the third player in school history and 45th in the 50-year-old Big Sky Conference to win first team All-Big Sky Conference honors three times.
- Has 105 tackles this season to rank 21st in school history, and his 254 career tackles are currently 13th.
- Lee is in sole possession of the school record for career forced fumbles with seven and has four this season to rank 22nd in FCS in average per game (0.29). He is 26th in fumble recoveries per game (0.29), with a total of four.
- Lee also has four interceptions, 25 passes broken up and 3 1/2 sacks in his 48-game career (34 starts). He is just the 35th Eagle in school history to have 200 career tackles.
- Lee earned All-America honors in 2012 from The Sports Network (second team), and was also honored on the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” All-America squad.
Ronnie Hamlin, Linebacker, Senior – Buck Buchanan Award Candidate (12th in the Voting)
- College Sports Madness Second Team All-America linebacker.
- Second team All-Big Sky Conference selection leads the nation’s third-ranked team with 114 total tackles.
- Has picked off two passes with 77 return yards and one touchdown.
- Has registered at least 10 tackles in seven games (16 in career).
- Currently ninth in school history with 129 tackles in 2013, and third with 350 career total tackles.
- Earned first team All-Big Sky and All-America honors in 2012.
Ashton Miller, Center, Senior – All-American
- Beyond Sports Network first team All-America center, and a second team choice by College Sports Madness.
- First team All-Big Sky Conference selection and one of four team co-captains.
- Has started 29 of 32 career games for the Eagles.
- Has helped Eastern score a Big Sky and school-record 561 points this season and has out-scored opponents by a 41-24 average score during its 10-game winning streak. As a team, EWU is leading FCS in passing efficiency (185.3), and is fourth in total offense (530.1 per game), fourth in passing (346.6), 42nd in rushing (183.5) and sixth in scoring (40.1).