Cooper Kupp, a wideout who broke 15 FCS receiving records and is a 4-time All-American at Eastern Washington, was selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the 69th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Kupp’s jaw-dropping statistics and skill set earned him a cult-like following in the Pacific Northwest, which continues to expand as his legend grows.
Kupp follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, both of whom played in the league. The Kupp’s are just the fifth family with three generations of players drafted in the NFL.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. Kupp Is the Most Productive Receiver in FCS History
Technically, Kupp is in the running for most productive receiver in the history of college football, but since he played in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), which is made up of lesser ranked teams than the FBS(Football Bowl Subdivision), there is some debate as to whether his statistics could be slightly inflated. FBS schools are allowed to offer 85 full scholarships, while FCS teams are allowed to offer the equivalent of 63 full scholarships. Kupp played his entire collegiate career at Eastern Washington University in the Big Sky Conference.
Wherever you land on that debate, there is no denying that Kupp is the most-productive receiver in FCS history. Kupp’s 428 receptions, 6,464 receiving yards and 73 touchdown receptions are FCS all-time records. Kupp broke many of NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s receiving records along the way. Rice played at FCS school Mississippi Valley State University.
Watch highlights from his career in the video below.
2. Kupp’s Father & Grandfather Both Played in the NFL
According to NFL.com, Cooper’s dad, Craig Kupp, was a fifth-round pick by the Giants in 1990. Craig was a member of the Dallas Cowboys and Phoenix Cardinals in 1991.
Cooper’s grandfather, Jake Kupp, was a New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame offensive lineman from 1964-75. He was selected in the ninth round of the 1964 NFL Draft and made the NFL All-Rookie team that year. He spent some time with the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons before returning to the Saints and making the Pro-Bowl in 1969. In addition to being inducted to the Saints Hall of Fame, he was also named to the Saints All-40th Anniversary team.
The Kupps become the fifth family with three generations drafted in the NFL, following the Higgins-Suhey, Pyne, Matthews and Chickillo families, according to ESPN.com.
Cooper’s mother, Karin, a personal trainer, played soccer at Pacific Lutheran University, where she and Craig are in the school’s athletic hall of fame, according to FoxSports.
3. Kupp Had Big Performances Against Tough Competition and Contributed a ‘Draft Diary’ to Fox Sports
According to fanragsports.com, Kupp played four games against PAC-12 teams in his career; Oregon State(2013), Washington(2014), Oregon(2015) and Washington State(2016). In those games he had 40 receptions for 716 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In the 2015 game against the Oregon Ducks, a FBS team ranked #7 in the nation at the time, Kupp had one of his best games of his career. He caught 15 passes for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns. His performance was good enough for Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal to tab him as a potential first-round pick in the NFL Draft, according to FoxSports.
Watch Kupp’s highlights from the Oregon game above.
Kupp wrote a seven-part Draft Diary for FoxSports.com detailing his experiences preparing for the 2017 NFL Draft. The first diary details Kupp’s time preparing for and playing in the Senior Bowl. In Chapters 2-4 of the diary, Kupp talks about his training for, participation and reflection of the NFL Combine. In Chapter 5 he talks about continuing his workouts in order to improve on his time he posted at the NFL combine. The series ends with Kupp reflecting on what it means to him to have finally reached draft day and what it feels like to finally realize his dreams.
4. Kupp Is a 4-Time All-American and Won Many Awards
Kupp was voted All-American in each of his four years at Eastern Washington University. According to ESPN.com, he is the only player to win both the Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman of the year) and Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year). He is the first wide receiver and just the fourth player overall in the 54-year history of the Big Sky Conference to earn first team All-Big Sky honors in all four seasons, according to goeags.com.
He was named 2015 and 2016 FCS ADA National Offensive Player of the Year. Kupp was also named 2015 Stats National Offensive Player of the Year.
Kupp was a three-time Academic All-America selection and got his degree in economics with a 3.63 GPA. Cooper married Anna Croskrey in June of 2015.
5. Kupp’s New QB Is Last Year’s First Overall Pick Jared Goff
Kupp is now a teammate of last year’s first overall pick, QB Jared Goff. Goff, 22, who played for PAC-12 school California in college, took over as the Rams starting quarterback in week 11 and will be the starting quarterback to begin the season.
The Los Angeles Rams appear to be focusing on adding an arsenal of talent for Goff in the 2017 Draft. In addition to picking Kupp with the 69th overall pick, the Rams picked South Alabama TE Gerald Everett as the 44th overall pick and Texas A&M WR Josh Reynolds as the 117th pick, according to ESPN.com
Kupp posted the following short message to Rams fans on the Rams Twitter page.