EWU's Kupp selected STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year
Considering the junior's two pass attempts on gadget plays went for touchdowns this season ...
"I truly believe he could play quarterback at this level," Eagles coach Beau Baldwin said. "It would take some work, but he's that multi-talented."
Sure, just what defenses need - the ball in Kupp's hands even more. He's already unstoppable.
Friday night, Kupp was named the 2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year at the national awards banquet. Running backs Kade Harrington of Lamar and Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State finished second and third in a vote of 150 national media members.
"His mental toughness is what it comes down to," Baldwin said. "There are a lot of talented players in this country, but only a few who have the drive, desire, mind-set and will at the same level as Cooper. For him to be in this position to receive all these accolades is 100 percent earned."
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Kupp, from Yakima, Washington, still has another year to build on a career in which he has established 17 Eastern Washington records, eight Big Sky Conference marks and seven FCS records. This season, he led the FCS in five categories - receptions (114, a Big Sky record), receptions per game (10.4, another conference mark), receiving yards (1,642), receiving yards per game (149.3) and touchdown receptions (19). The three-time first-team All-American became the second wide receiver in 42 years to be named the Big Sky's offensive player of the year.
His season began at Oregon with 15 receptions for 246 yards - both Autzen Stadium records - as well as three touchdown catches. He went on to set career highs with 20 receptions and 275 receiving yards and had another three TDs in a win at Northern Colorado. Kupp also returned a punt for a touchdown and turned those two pass attempts into 45 yards and two scores.
Despite the many outstanding achievements, Kupp says, "That's not what I'm about, I play for a greater purpose than that. Obviously, you get to that point, you must be doing something right. So maybe it's a credit to the work you put in."
Kupp, the second wide receiver to be named the FCS offensive player of the year - following Villanova's Brian Finneran in 1997 - was selected from 25 finalists by a national panel of 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. The voting reflected the regular season, with Kupp receiving 34 first-place votes and 378 points followed by Harrington with 26 first-place votes and 349 points and Coprich with 23 first-place votes and 275 points.
Harrington set a handful of Lamar and Southland Conference records as a junior. During the regular season, he led the nation in rushing yards (2,092), rushing yards per game (190.2), rushing touchdowns (21) and all-purpose yards (213.4). He averaged over 220 rushing yards in Southland games, earning the conference's player of the year award.
Coprich was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference offensive player of the year for the second consecutive season after leading in most rushing categories. Including two FCS playoff games, he ranked No. 2 in the FCS in rushing yards (1,967) and rushing yards per game (151.3) as well as No. 3 in points per game (11.2).
2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Voting=
1. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington: 34-21-23-23-9-378
2. Kade Harrington, Lamar: 26-30-18-17-11-349
3. Marshaun Coprich, Illinois State: 23-22-15-8-11-275
19.(T) Alex Ross, Coastal Carolina: 0-1-2-2-3-17
24. Johnta' Hebert, Prairie View A&M: 1-1-0-0-2-11
A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote four points, a third-place vote three points, a fourth-place vote two points and a fifth-place vote one point.