Cooper Kupp’s historic college football career nears its end

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Los Angeles Rams and former EWU wide receiver Cooper Kupp looks on at the field during his college career in Cheney. Kupp was one of the EWU athletes McPherson referred to as potentially being able to sell his likeness while playing for the Eagles.

By Riley Baker, Staff Writer

Cooper Kupp will be playing in his final regular season game as an EWU Eagle tomorrow at Portland State.

His illustrious career has garnered him numerous records and awards and even national attention, but now it is almost time to say goodbye to the Eagle great.

“It’s been a long road to get here,” said Kupp. “God has blessed me with a lot of really good teammates and coaches to be around. I’ve grown because of the guys I’ve been around.”

Kupp broke the FCS all-time career receptions record on Saturday with his 396th reception for his 13th FCS record to go along with his eight Big Sky Conference records and 21 school records. He also holds the FCS records for consecutive games with a reception (48), reception yards (5,994) and receiving touchdowns (68).

In addition to all the records, Kupp has also received several national honors. In 2013, he won the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the FCS. In 2015, Kupp earned both the FCS and STATS Offensive Player of the Year Award as well as the Walter Payton Award.

It is not all about the accolades for Kupp, though.

“Being around these guys, it’s been the time of my life and we definitely know how to have fun,” Kupp said.

He has had an impact on several teammates over the years, young and old. True freshman running back Antoine Custer Jr. said Kupp motivates him a lot by going into every practice like it is game day.

“He motivates every player to put the work in and work as hard as he does,” Custer said.

Senior linebacker Miquiyah Zamora played high school football in Pasco, Washington and defended against Kupp before they became teammates at EWU. Zamora said Kupp is the hardest worker he knows and is deserving of everything he is given.

“It’s a blessing playing with him,” said Zamora. “Even when I’m kind of mad, he can calm a guy like me down. He does more than play football, he’s looking after you.”

No matter what the moment has been over his five years at EWU, Kupp has never been one to dwell on the past. But soon his time in Cheney will just be a fond memory.

“I’m sure there will be a time where I can look back on it and appreciate it for what it was,” Kupp said.

Now with his college career wrapping up, the next step will be the NFL. Kupp has already accepted his invitation to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 28, an exhibition to showcase some of the top collegiate players in the nation.

“Growing as a football player and a man, I really appreciate what [EWU] was able to do for me and I’m excited about what’s to come.”