T.J. Lee III is a repeat performer as College Sporting News Announces its 2013 Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team
Eastern Washington University’s T.J. Lee III, Vernon Adams and Cooper Kupp have been listed among the top 50 players in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision on the College Sporting News 2013 Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team.
Kupp won Freshman of the Year accolades after a record-breaking debut season as an EWU wide receiver. He previously won the Jerry Rice Award presented by the Sports Network to the top freshman in FCS. The 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., was also presented the CFPA Wide Receiver Award for FCS.
Adams, a sophomore, made the CSN top 50 list as one of three quarterbacks honored. Lee was one of two cornerbacks recognized and is a repeat honoree on the Fabulous 50 squad.
All three players have previously won multiple All-America honors already after leading Eastern to a 12-3 record in 2013. It was the fifth season in school history with 11 or more wins (joining the 2012, 2010, 1997 and 1967 squads), and came on the heels of EWU’s seventh Big Sky Conference Championship in school history and first with a perfect 8-0 mark. Eastern has now appeared in the FCS Playoffs 10 times.
Kupp and Adams, who is from Pasadena, Calif., helped the Eagles break 48 school, 22 Big Sky and 12 FCS records during the 2013 season. Eastern, the 2010 NCAA Division I Champion, advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs for the third time in the last four years in 2013.
Lee, a 2009 graduate West Seattle High School, broke EWU’s single season for forced fumbles with four, as well as the career record with seven. He finished his career ranked in the top 15 in four other categories, including season tackles (14th with 114), season passes broken up (10th with 11), career tackles (11th with 263) and career passes broken up (6th with 25).
Besides having three players in the top 50, Eastern played against 11 other players who earned a spot on the prestigious list.
Vernon Adams Jr., Quarterback, Sophomore – CFPA National Performer of the Year & Walter Payton Award Runner-Up
- Adams was selected as the FCS National Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards, and was also the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. He received first team All-America honors from College Sporting News (“Fabulous 50”) and Beyond Sports Network, as well as second team accolades from The Sports Network, Associated Press and College Sports Madness.
- Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year and one of two unanimous first team All-BSC selections (the other was teammate Cooper Kupp as both received first-team votes on all 12 ballots as selected by the league’s head coaches).
- His average of 9.0 yards per offensive play and 10.28 yards per passing attempt were FCS records, as well as his 11 games of 300 yards or more of total offense and 10 outings with at least 300 passing yards. In all, he established 15 school records, six Big Sky Conference marks and six FCS records.
- Led the nation in pass efficiency at 183.13 and set a Big Sky single-season record (currently fourth all-time in FCS history).
- Had a Big Sky and school-record 55 touchdown passes to lead the nation and rank third all-time in FCS.
- Second in the nation with an average of 373.3 yards of total offense per game with a Big Sky and school record total of 5,559 yards second in FCS history). His 4,994 yards were also EWU and league records while ranking third all-time in FCS.
- One of four FCS QBs in history to engineer an upset of a top 25 FBS team. Amassed 411 passing yards and four TDs, 107 rush yards and 2 TDs in an upset of Oregon State.
- Led team to Big Sky Championship with the school’s first ever 8-0 league record and final No. 3 national ranking. Eastern’s only losses were to FBS Toledo and playoff teams Towson and Sam Houston State. Eastern finished 6-2 versus ranked opponents.
- Twice earned Sports Network National Offensive Player of the Week honors after Oregon State and Montana State wins.
Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Freshman – Jerry Rice Award Winner & CFPA Wide Receiver Award
- Was a runaway winner of the Jerry Rice Award, presented by The Sports Network to the top freshman in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. He also won the FCS Wide Receiver Award presented by the College Football Performance Awards.
- He was a first team selection on The Sports Network All-America team -- one of only five freshmen in FCS 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 (the only freshman or sophomore on the squad), College Sporting News (“Fabulous 50”), the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, Beyond Sports Network and College Sports Madness, which also selected Kupp as its FCS Freshman of the Year.
- 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 totals of 93 catches, 1,691 yards and 21 TDs (previously held by Randy Moss). His yardage is fourth overall in FCS history and his TD catches are also fourth.
- His 112.7 average per game led 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. The previous record was 11, and one of the former record holders was Randy Moss.
- Had eight 100-yard receiving games, including a 205-yard game, with at least eight catches and 100 yards in seven of his last nine games.
- Twice earned Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week honors after Montana and Cal Poly wins.
- Combined with second team All-Big Sky wide receiver Ashton Clark for the FCS record for combined receiving yards by two players with a total of 2,924 (Kupp 1,691 and Clark 1,233).
- Kupp set a total of six FCS records in his debut season, as well as four school marks and a Big Sky record. The Big Sky record he broke was the 45-year-old record of 20 TD catches set by Ed Bell from Idaho State in 1969.
- Was one of three Eastern receivers to earn All-Big Sky honors, joining second team selection Ashton Clark and honorable mention recipient Shaq Hill. Clark finished with 83 catches for 1,233 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Hill had 38 grabs for 790 yards and nine scores. Hill averaged 20.8 yards per catch, including TD receptions of 86, 76, 68, 68, 54 and 44 yards.
- 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. In all, the Eagles broke 48 school, 22 Big Sky and 12 FCS records during the 2013 season.
T.J. Lee III, Cornerback, Senior – Two-Time All-American
- Selected as a first team All-America cornerback by the American Football Coaches Association, College Sporting News (“Fabulous 50”), College Sports Madness and Beyond Sports Network, and a second team choice by the Associated Press and The Sports Network.
- 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.
- Had 114 tackles in the 2013 season to rank 14th in school history, and he finished his career with 263 tackles to rank 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 finished third nationally in fumble recoveries per game with a total of four.
- Lee also had four interceptions, 25 passes broken up (sixth in school history) 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.
COLLEGE SPORTING NEWS 2013 "FAB FIFTY" ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
The Roy Kidd FCS Coach of the Year Award: Craig Bohl, North
The Adrian "AP" Peterson FCS Offensive Player of the Year Award: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
The James "Boomer" Grigsby FCS Defensive Player of the Year Award: Brad Daly, DE, Montana State
Offensive Lineman Of The Year: Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
Special Teams Player Of The Year: Xavier Roberson, KR, Southeastern Louisiana
Freshmen Of The Year: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
Playoff MVP: Brock Jensen, QB, North Dakota State
MORE "FAB FIFTY" OFFENSE
QB Michael Nebrich, Fordham
QB Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington
RB Terrance West, Towson
RB Zach Zenner, South Dakota State
RB DaMarcus James, Jacksonville State
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina
FB Andrew Grothmann, North Dakota State
AP Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
OC Tristan Bellamy, South Carolina State
OG Dakota Dozier, Furman
OG Collin Seibert, Eastern Illinois
OT Eric Pike, Towson
OT Bryan Witzmann, South Dakota State
OL Chris Elkins, Youngstown State
OL Arinze Agada, McNeese State
TE MyCole Pruitt, Southern Illinois
TE Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois
WR Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois
WR Lee Kurfis, Lehigh
WR Sam Ajala, Fordham
WR Jeremy Butler, UT Martin
MORE "FAB FIFTY" DEFENSE
DT Sullivan Grosz, Cal Poly
DT Caraun Reid, Princeton
DE Terrence Fede, Marist
DE Davis Tull, UT Chattanooga
DL Zach Kerr, Delaware
DL Colton Underwood, Illinois State
LB Stephon Robertson, James Madison
LB Justin Shade, Samford
LB Quinn Backus, Coastal Carolina
LB Jordan Tripp, Montana
LB Cqulin Hubert, Southeast Louisiana
LB Grant Olson, North Dakota State
CB Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
CB T.J. Lee III, Eastern Washington
DB Jerome Couplin III, William & Mary
DB Jaquiski Tartt, Samford
S Caleb Schaffitzel, Missouri State
S Daniel Fitzpatrick, Tennessee State
MORE "FAB FIFTY" SPECIAL TEAMS
K Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State
P Kyle Loomis, Portland State
KR Adrian Wilkins, North Carolina Central
PR Torrance Williams, Sam Houston State
LS Richard Wright, Liberty