Kupp, Jerome lead FCS mark at Senior Bowl
(STATS) - It says a lot about Cooper Kupp that a fellow wide receiver - in fact, the nation's leading pass catcher - said he learned a lot from watching the FCS legend perform at the Senior Bowl this week.
Most importantly, Kupp left quite the impression on NFL teams during the nation's most prestigious college football all-star game.
The four-time first-team All-American from Eastern Washington wrapped up a big week Saturday, although his North squad lost to the South 16-15 in Mobile, Alabama.
Generally regarded with a third-round grade for the April draft in Philadelphia, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kupp hopes he raised his stock. NFL scouts and Senior Bowl representatives voted him as the outstanding wide receiver over the three days of practice.
While East Carolina's Zay Jones, the FBS leader in receptions this past season, was the aforementioned impressed teammate of Kupp's on the North team, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah glowed before the game, "He runs crisp routes. He knows exactly what he's doing. He's caught every ball throughout the week. He's been very impressive in his interviews with teams."
Kupp opened the Senior Bowl with a 29-yard kickoff return from deep in his team's end zone. He had two receptions for 14 yards, drew a holding penalty on a downfield pass, and carried the ball once for no gain.
Over his incredible career, Kupp finished with 428 receptions, 6,464 receiving yards and 73 touchdown catches - the highest totals in Division I history - among his 26 school, 11 conference and 15 FCS records. He won both the 2013 Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman of year) and 2015 Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year).
The game was a bit of a defensive struggle, and a handful of FCS All-Americans made their mark.
Saint Francis free safety Lorenzo Jerome, playing for the North, was responsible for three turnovers - two interceptions, which added to the two he had a week earlier in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, and a forced fumble. He added three tackles.
Lamar cornerback Brendan Langley also had an interception with three tackles, while Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers was active in the South backfield and finished with a sack and another tackle.
For the South, which won despite committing five turnovers, defensive ends Keionta Davis from Chattanooga and Tanoh Kpassagnon from Villanova stood out. Davis, perhaps the top-rated FCS prospect, totaled six tackles, including a sack, while Kpassagnon forced a fumble on a sack and finished with 1 1/2 tackles for loss.
The other FCS players in the game were Bucknell offensive tackle Julie'n Davenport, Tennessee State offensive guard Jessamen Dunker and cornerback Ezra Robinson, Drake tight end Eric Saubert and Grambling State wide receiver Chad Williams.