Adams receives top award as the FCS National Performer of the Year, and Kupp follows in footsteps of Brandon Kaufman by winning FCS Wide Receiver Award
Top performers indeed.
Sophomore quarterback Vernon Adams and redshirt freshman wide receiver Cooper Kupp have received top honors from College Football Performance Awards (http://collegefootballperformance.com) after sensational, record-breaking seasons for the Eastern Washington University football team.
Adams, a sophomore from Pasadena, Calif. (Alemany HS ’11) won the top award overall given by CFPA as the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision National Performer of the Year. Florida State freshman Jameis Winston won the same honor for NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
Kupp, a redshirt freshman from Yakima, Wash. (Davis HS ’12) was presented the CFPA Wide Receiver Award for FCS, which was won the previous year by Eastern’s Brandon Kaufman.
Adams and Kupp helped the Eagles break 48 school, 22 Big Sky and 12 FCS records during the 2013 season. Eastern, the 2010 NCAA Division I Champion, advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs for the third time in the last four years in 2013.
Eastern, which ranked third in the final regular season polls and was seeded third in the playoffs, finished the 2013 campaign 12-3. It was the fifth season in school history with 11 or more wins (joining the 2012, 2010, 1997 and 1967 squads), and came on the heels of EWU’s seventh Big Sky Conference Championship in school history and first with a perfect 8-0 mark. Eastern has now appeared in the FCS Playoffs 10 times.
Adams and Kupp are the fourth and fifth Eastern players to earn annual CFPA honors, following Kaufman, Bo Levi Mitchell (2011 CFPA FCS Elite Quarterback Award) and Taiwan Jones (2010 CFPA FCS Running Back Award). Kaufman ended the 2013 season on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, Jones plays for the Oakland Raiders and Mitchell is with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.
Harvard’s Colton Chapple won the FCS CFPA National Performer of the Year honor in 2012, an honor previously won by Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke (2011) and Delaware’s Pat Devlin (2010). Before Kaufman, the CFPA Wide Receiver Award was previously earned by Elon's Aaron Mellette (2011) and Liberty's Chris Summers (2010).
The goal of the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. CFPA recognizes weekly, annual, and multi-season (career) award recipients – selected based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. The organization determined that Adams finished the 2013 season with the greatest impact on team success, while Kupp finished with the strongest receiving performance in Division I FCS college football, satisfying the strict criteria CFPA established for annual recognition.
Vernon Adams Jr., Quarterback, Sophomore – CFPA National Performer of the Year & Walter Payton Award Runner-Up
- Adams was selected as the FCS National Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards, and was also the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. He received first team All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network, as well as second team accolades from The Sports Network, Associated Press and 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).
- His average of 9.0 yards per offensive play and 10.28 yards per passing attempt were FCS records, as well as his 11 games of 300 yards or more of total offense and 10 outings with at least 300 passing yards. In all, he established 15 school records, six Big Sky Conference marks and six FCS records.
- Led the nation in pass efficiency at 183.13 and set a Big Sky single-season record (currently fourth all-time in FCS history).
- Had a Big Sky and school-record 55 touchdown passes to lead the nation and rank third all-time in FCS.
- Second in the nation with an average of 373.3 yards of total offense per game with a Big Sky and school record total of 5,559 yards second in FCS history). His 4,994 yards were also EWU and league records while ranking third all-time in FCS.
- 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 with the school’s first ever 8-0 league record and final No. 3 national ranking. Eastern’s only losses were to FBS Toledo and playoff teams Towson and Sam Houston State. Eastern finished 6-2 versus ranked opponents.
- Twice earned Sports Network National Offensive Player of the Week honors after Oregon State and Montana State wins.
Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Freshman – Jerry Rice
Award Winner & CFPA Wide Receiver Award
- Was a runaway winner of the Jerry Rice Award, presented by The Sports Network to the top freshman in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
- A first team selection on The Sports Network All-America team -- one of only five freshmen in FCS to earn first team honors since 1990 and the second wide receiver (Randy Moss 1996). Was also a first team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association (the only freshman or sophomore on the squad), the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, Beyond Sports Network and College Sports Madness, which also selected Kupp as its FCS Freshman of the Year.
- 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 totals of 93 catches, 1,691 yards and 21 TDs (previously held by Randy Moss). His yardage is fourth overall in FCS history and his TD catches are also fourth.
- His 112.7 average per game led all Big Sky receivers and ranked fifth in the nation.
- 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.
- Had eight 100-yard receiving games, including a 205-yard game, with at least eight catches and 100 yards in seven of his last nine games.
- Twice earned Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week honors after Montana and Cal Poly wins.
- 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).
- Kupp set a total of six FCS records in his debut season, as well as four school marks and a Big Sky record. 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.
- Was one of three Eastern receivers to earn All-Big Sky honors, joining second team selection Ashton Clark and honorable mention recipient Shaq Hill. Clark finished with 83 catches for 1,233 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Hill had 38 grabs for 790 yards and nine scores. Hill averaged 20.8 yards per catch, including TD receptions of 86, 76, 68, 68, 54 and 44 yards.
- The Eagles ended their season 12-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the second-straight year. Kupp set six FCS records in his debut season, as well as four school marks and a Big Sky record. In all, the Eagles broke 48 school, 22 Big Sky and 12 FCS records during the 2013 season.