Kupp on pace to be greatest FCS wide receiver
(STATS) - Maybe the only thing more tiring than defending Eastern Washington senior Cooper Kupp is trying to keep track of his many pass receiving records.
The three-time FCS first-team All-American holds 33 records - seven NCAA, eight Big Sky Conference and 18 Eastern Washington - heading into his final season. The 2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year is on pace to end his college career as the greatest wide receiver in FCS history.
Yet he never seems to be satisfied with his countless accomplishments. He's looking toward the next team goal.
"When your best player is also doing all the little things," Eagles coach Beau Baldwin said, "that makes your life and job as a coach that much easier in terms of trying to set a certain standard and a certain culture for the young guys."
Eastern Washington opens its season Saturday at Washington State. In three career games against Pac-12 opponents, Kupp has combined for 28 receptions, 510 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches.
Known for his excellent route running and physical style, Kupp has led the FCS in receiving yards in two of his three seasons and finished second the other time. He ranks fourth in FCS history in receptions (311, 84 behind the record), second in reception yards (4,764, 486 behind the record) and second in TD receptions (56, two behind the record).
"I'm not going to try to top anything. I'm going to be the best that I can be," said Kupp, who has the chance to become only the second player - after former Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards - to win the nation's top individual honor a second time.
Generally regarded as the leading FCS prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Kupp bulked up in the offseason in preparation for the future. He comes from a football family as his father Craig was a former NFL quarterback and grandfather Jake had a long NFL career as an offensive guard.
But having been a part of Big Sky championship squads in 2012 (as a redshirt), '13 and '14, Kupp's main goal is to get the Eagles back on track after last year's 6-5 record fell below the program standard.
"What is important to me," Kupp said, "is that I'm giving my best day in and day out. As long as everyone else on the Eastern Washington football team walks off the field their last time playing and is able to look back and say, 'I gave everything I had this season. I gave my very best,' everything else that comes with that - statistics, team success, all the stuff - is going to come with it."