Eagle cornerback and wide receiver are honored by the American Football Coaches Association, which has now honored 18 Eastern players with 19 awards
A pair of Eastern Washington University football players from the state of Washington – wide receiver Cooper Kupp and cornerback T.J. Lee III – have been selected to the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America team. A national committee of FCS coaches selects the prestigious 25-member squad.
Kupp, a freshman from Yakima, Wash. (Davis HS ’12) was the lone freshman or sophomore on the team after enjoying a record-breaking season that saw him capture the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in FCS. Lee, a three-time All-Big Sky Conference first team selection from Seattle (West Seattle HS ’09), is one of 17 seniors on the squad, which has been selecting All-America teams since 1945.
Kupp and Lee bring the total number of Eastern players selected to the squad to 18, representing 19 honors. Kupp has already earned first team All-America honors from Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Sports Network, Beyond Sports Network and College Sports Madness, which also select him as its FCS Freshman of the Year. Lee previously was a first team All-America selection by College Sports Madness and Beyond Sports Network, and earned second team honors from Associated Press and The Sports Network.
Other Eagles earning All-America honors thus far are senior center Ashton Miller, sophomore quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. and senior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin. Miller earned first team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press and Beyond Sports Network, and second team accolades from College Sports Madness. Adams earned first team accolades from Beyond Sports Network, and second team honors from The Sports Network, Associated Press and College Sports Madness. College Sports Madness also picked Hamlin as a second team All-America honoree.
The Eagles ended their season 12-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the second-straight year. Kupp set six FCS records in his debut season, as well as four school marks and a Big Sky record. Lee broke two school records. In all, the Eagles broke 48 school, 22 Big Sky and 12 FCS records during the 2013 season.
Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Freshman – Jerry Rice Award Winner
The Sports Network First Team All-America wide receiver -- one of only five freshmen to earn first team honors since 1990 and the second wide receiver (Randy Moss 1996). Was also a first team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Walter Camp Foundation and Beyond Sports Network, and was the College Sports Madness FCS Freshman of the Year and second team All-America wide receiver.
Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year and one of two unanimous first team All-BSC selections (the other was teammate Vernon Adams as both received first-team votes on all 12 ballots as selected by the league’s head coaches).
The redshirt freshman broke the FCS all-time record for receptions, yards and touchdowns by a freshman with season totals of 93 catches, 1,691 yards and 21 TDs (previously held by Randy Moss). His yardage and TD totals are both fourth overall in FCS history.
His total of 1,691 yards and 21 touchdowns receiving led FCS, and his 112.7 average per game leads all Big Sky receivers and ranked fifth in the nation.
Broke the all-time FCS record with a TD catch in 14 consecutive games. He caught two TD passes in seven games and one in the other seven games of the first 14 games of his collegiate career. One of the former record holders was Randy Moss.
In all, he broke four EWU records, one Big Sky Conference mark and six FCS records.
Finished 2013 with eight 100-yard receiving games, including a 205-yard game, with at least eight catches in seven of his last nine games.
Twice earned Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week honors after Montana and Cal Poly wins.
T.J. Lee III, Cornerback, Senior – All-American
American Football Coaches Association and Beyond Sports Network first team All-America cornerback, and a second team choice by Associated Press and College Sports Madness
Only the third player in school history and 45th in the 50-year-old Big Sky Conference to win first team All-Big Sky Conference honors three times.
Has 114 tackles in the 2013 season ranked 14th in school history, and his 263 career tackles are 11th.
Lee is in sole possession of the school record for career forced fumbles with seven and had a school-record four in the 2013 season to rank 27th in FCS in average per game (0.27). He was third in FCS with four total fumble recoveries.
Lee also had four interceptions, 25 passes broken up and 3 1/2 sacks in his 49-game career (35 starts). He is just the 35th Eagle in school history to have 200 career tackles.
Lee earned All-America honors in 2012 from The Sports Network (second team), and was also honored on the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” All-America squad.