EWU's Kupp, Gubrud highlight Big Sky
(STATS) – It was going to be very difficult for the Big Sky coaches to decide between Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp and Gage Gubrud in determining the conference's Offensive Player of the Year.
As it turns out, they just couldn't choose one over the other.
For the first time in conference history, two players from the same school were selected as the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year.
Kupp, the 2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year, became just the fourth player in league history to be named to the Big Sky first team four times. He finished the year with league highs of 91 receptions for 1,297 yards to go with 12 touchdowns.
Gubrud, a sophomore, was also a unanimous selection to the first team after leading the conference with 4,086 passing yards with 40 touchdowns. He also led EWU with 463 rushing yards.
The duo helped the Eagles go 10-1 and earn the No. 2 seed in the FCS playoffs.
Eastern Washington had a conference-high seven players named to the first team and has now had the Big Sky's Offensive Player of the Year in 12 of the last 16 seasons.
The defensive player of the year went to North Dakota safety Cole Reyes, who made 58 tackles, five tackles for loss, and had three interceptions, along with forcing two fumbles. The junior led the Fighting Hawks to a 9-2 record and the playoffs' seventh seed.
Montana State dual-threat quarterback Chris Murray was named the Big Sky Freshman of the Year, rushing for 860 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing for 778 yards and six scores.
Weber State transfer Andrew Vollert received Big Sky Newcomer of the Year honors after leading the Wildcats with 757 yards and 57 receptions. The tight end, who began his career at San Jose State, also caught six touchdown passes.
The coach of the year will be announced Wednesday.
BIG SKY POSTSEASON AWARDS=
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Gage Gubrud, QB, Eastern Washington; Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Cole Reyes, S, North Dakota
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Chris Murray, QB, Montana State
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Andrew Vollert, TE, Weber State
BIG SKY FIRST TEAM
QB – Gage Gubrud, Eastern Washington
RB – John Santiago, North Dakota
RB – Malik Brown, Southern Utah
FB – Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly
OT – Michael Coe, North Dakota
OT – Matt Fisher, Cal Poly
OG – J.P. Flynn, Montana State
OG – Cam Keizur, Portland State
C – Joey Kuperman, Cal Poly
WR – Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
WR – Shaq Hill, Eastern Washington
WR – Emmanuel Butler, Northern Arizona
TE – Andrew Vollert, Weber State
DT – Robert Torgerson, Southern Utah
DT – Jay-Tee Tiuli, Eastern Washington
DE – Samson Ebukam, Eastern Washington
DE – Siupeli Anau, Northern Arizona
OLB – Mike Needham, Southern Utah
OLB – Tre'von Johnson, Weber State
ILB – Chris Santini, Cal Poly
ILB – Miquiyah Zamora, Eastern Washington
CB – Deion Harris, North Dakota
CB – Xavier Coleman, Portland State
S – Cole Reyes, North Dakota
S – Zach Bruce, Eastern Washington
PK – Griffin Roehler, Northern Arizona
P – Tate Lewis, Southern Utah
RS – John Santiago, North Dakota
STP – Hakeem Deggs, Northern Colorado