Samson Ebukam Earns Freshman All-America Honors
Cooper Kupp wins yet another Freshman of the Year Award as College Sports Journal announces its annual All-Freshman Team
On a team loaded with depth along the defensive line, true freshman Samson Ebukam has been chosen as a second team selection on the College Sports Journal All-Freshman Team.
In addition to Ebukam, redshirt freshman wide receiver Cooper Kupp was the College Sports Journal Freshman of the Year. Previously, Terrance West of Towson won the award in 2011, and John Robertson of Villanova and Sean Price of Appalachian State shared the honor in 2012.
Ebukam, a 2013 graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Ore., played in all 15 Eastern games and finished with 28 tackles and three quarterback sacks. He was credited with two passes broken up and two quarterback hurries.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end also had an interception he returned 21 yards for a touchdown in EWU’s 34-10 home win over Southern Utah. He recorded sacks versus Sam Houston State, North Dakota and Idaho State.
He was one of three true freshmen among the 11 players who saw significant action along the defensive line for the Eagles.
Kupp has now won four 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, and was also honored as the top frosh by College Sports Madness and College Sporting News. In addition, he was selected as a first team FCS All-American on seven different teams, and the 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., was presented the CFPA Wide Receiver Award for FCS.
Eastern finished with a 12-3 record in 2013 -- the fifth time in school history with 11 or more wins (joining the 2012, 2010, 1997 and 1967 squads). It 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.
The Eagles broke 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.
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. In addition, he was the Freshman of the Year as a member of the College Sports Journal All-Freshman Team.
- 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.