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Eastern Washington's Kupp hauls 2013 Jerry Rice Award

Eagles' wide receiver honored as most outstanding FCS rookie

Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp is the first wide receiver to win the Rice Award.

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jerry Rice has reason to take a liking to Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

But the legendary Hall of Fame receiver may have to realize Kupp could soar past the prodigious statistics that he produced in college.

On Monday, Kupp became the third recipient of the Jerry Rice Award, which honors the FCS national freshman of the year. Rice was on hand at The Sports Network's national awards banquet Monday to present the trophy.

Kupp won by the biggest margin in the three-year history of the award, gaining 80 of the 147 first-place votes and 557 points from a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. Appalachian State running back Marcus Cox finished second with 259 points, while Sacred Heart quarterback R.J. Noel and Youngstown State running back Martin Ruiz tied for third with 202 points each.

Kupp is the first wide receiver to win the Rice Award. Towson running back Terrance West was the inaugural recipient in 2011 and Villanova quarterback John Robertson won last year.

As a redshirt freshman this year, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Kupp has had a breakout season unlike any other in FCS history by a rookie wide receiver. In the regular season, he caught 77 passes and 18 touchdowns for the Big Sky Conference champion Eagles, setting a national freshman record with 1,378 receiving yards. The native of Yakima, Wash., also caught at least one touchdown pass in all 12 of the Eagles' games - a consecutive game record not just for freshmen, but all FCS receivers.

With EWU's two playoff wins this month, Kupp has pushed the touchdown streak to 14 games. His 85 receptions, 1,567 receiving yards and 21 TD catches have never been reached by a freshman previously.

"Bigger than (the statistics), he maximizes every ounce of his talent," EWU coach Beau Baldwin said. "We all see he has talent - lots of talent - but he has a great work ethic for video study, offseason work and preparation. He understands what teams are doing defensively, how to work a release and knows our entire offense. That allows us to put him in different positions. He understands the concept of every play, not just the receiver position he is playing. We can move him around, and teams can't plan for him to be at one spot all the time - he's everywhere within our offense.

"It's hard for a freshman to do those things mentally, and then he's also been tough enough to handle hard hits and play through pain. He's a strong-minded young man with a lot of talent, but it's that mental toughness and work ethic that takes him from being a good or great player to one of the best."

Kupp comes from a rich football background: His father, Craig, was a former NFL quarterback, while his grandfather, Jake, enjoyed a long NFL career as an offensive guard.

There were 147 ballots cast in the 2013 Jerry Rice Award voting. The results:


2013 Jerry Rice Award Voting
Name School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total
1. Cooper Kupp E. Washington 80 21 19 6 4 557
2. Marcus Cox Appalachian St. 16 26 13 13 10 259
T3. RJ Noel Sacred Heart 8 17 17 13 17 202
T3. Martin Ruiz Youngstown St. 5 16 20 21 11 202
5. John Russ Mercer 9 11 11 14 10 160
6. Christophe Mulumba Maine 4 7 9 17 10 119
7. Donald Payne Stetson 4 6 13 9 10 111
8. Peter Pujals Holy Cross 3 9 7 13 7 105
9. Tarik Cohen N. Carolina A&T 4 4 6 4 10 72
10. Marquis Smith Savannah St. 2 4 5 9 9 68
11. Matt Johnson Charlotte 4 6 3 3 6 65
12. Kourtney Berry Alabama St. 2 5 6 2 7 59
13. Gage Steele James Madison 1 6 5 4 6 58
14. Drew Reed Lafayette 2 3 5 4 3 48
15. Dillon Buechel Duquesne 2 3 4 0 4 38
16. Jatavious Wilson C. Arkansas 0 1 1 7 3 24
T17. Bentlee Critcher Appalach St. 1 0 0 3 6 17
T17. C.J. Williams Bucknell 0 2 1 1 4 17
19. Austin Black SE Missouri St. 0 0 1 1 7 12
T20. Javancy Jones Jackson St. 0 0 1 1 1 6
T20. Lawrence Forbes Morgan St. 0 0 0 2 2 6

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
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1:05pm Today
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2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
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6:35pm Saturday
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5:05pm Sunday
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Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
KAN
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1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
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1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Today
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8:05pm Tonight
WAS
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8:15pm Tonight
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10:05pm Tonight
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CLE
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CHC
 
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PHI
 
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TEX
 
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MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
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HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
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MIN
 
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STL
 
10:05pm Friday
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10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
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SEA
 
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PIT
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MIN
 
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PHI
 
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BAL
 
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ARI
MIL
 
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HOU
 
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NYM
 
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WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
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PHI
 
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BAL
 
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MIL
 
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Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
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9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
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CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
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ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
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SFLORIDA
FAU
 
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WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
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NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
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ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
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LSU
 
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SWMISSOURI
 
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LOUISVILLE
 
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USC
 
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TCU
 
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10:00pm Friday
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FULLERTON
 
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11:00pm Friday
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Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
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7:05pm Friday
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6:35pm Saturday
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5:05pm Sunday
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