Candidate for Jerry Rice Award as top freshman in FCS has 11 TD catches already to rank third in the nation; Vernon Adams honored as Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week
Talk about bursting onto the scene.
Just eight games into his college football career, Eastern Washington University wide receiver Cooper Kupp has earned NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Co-Freshman of the Week honors from The Sports Network for his effort in third-ranked EWU’s 42-37 victory over then 10th-ranked Montana in Missoula Saturday (Oct. 26). He was also selected as the FCS Wide Receiver Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
Kupp had 11 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns against the Grizzlies, and also recovered an onside kick with 1:41 left to preserve the win for the Eagles.
Kupp now has 11 touchdown receptions for the season to rank third in FCS. The 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., is a candidate for the Jerry Rice Award given annually to the top player in FCS.
Eastern quarterback Vernon Adams, who received national accolades as FCS Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Sunday (Oct. 27), was selected as the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week. He had the fifth-most passing yards in school history with 457 yards against the Grizzlies, as he was honored by the league for the second time this season and fourth in his career. Eastern, which plays at Idaho State this week, is ranked third in the FCS Top-25 Poll also released Monday (Oct. 28).
Kupp has 44 catches for 777 yards – a TD for every 4.0 catches so far this year. He is averaging 17.7 yards per catch and ranks 14th in FCS in receiving yards per game (97.1, with a total of 777 to rank 12th) and 41st in receptions (5.5 per game).
His 182 yards against Montana rank 18th all-time at EWU. In each of his last two games -- Southern Utah on Oct. 19 and Montana on Oct. 26 -- Kupp had 11 catches to equal the 12th-best in school history tied with 10 others, including teammate Ashton Clark with 11 grabs versus SUU a year ago.
Kupp had five catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in his debut as an Eagle against Oregon State on Aug. 31 in EWU’s 49-46 upset victory over the 25th-ranked Beavers.
He spent part of the summer in 2013 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’s parents are Craig and Karin Kupp, who were both inducted into the Pacific Lutheran University Hall of Fame in 2003. Karin (formerly Karin Gilmer) was a soccer player and Craig played football. Craig, who graduated from Selah (Wash.) High School, was a fifth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 1990 and played in 1991 for the Phoenix Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys.
Cooper’s great-uncle, Jeff Kupp, lettered as an offensive lineman at Eastern from 1982-84 during EWU’s transition from NAIA to the FCS (then known as I-AA). Jeff’s brother and Cooper’s grandfather, Jake Kupp, was an offensive lineman for the University of Washington and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1964 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played from 1964-75 as a guard with Dallas, the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. Named to the NFL All-Rookie team, he later was a five-time captain for the Saints. He was named to the franchise’s 25-year All-Time Team and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year that Craig played in the NFL.
And Karin’s father, Tom Gilmer, is also a member of the PLU Hall of Fame as a Lute quarterback and record-setting punter in the late 1950’s. He is also in the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame after also serving as the long-time football coach for Washington High School in Tacoma.