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Cooper Kupp says he’ll be back at EWU for senior season

Eastern Washington receiver Cooper Kupp, who caught 114 balls for 1,642 yards this past season, says he will return for his senior season. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington receiver Cooper Kupp, who caught 114 balls for 1,642 yards this past season, says he will return for his senior season. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Record-setting wide receiver Cooper Kupp will stay at Eastern Washington for his senior year, he announced Monday night via social media.

Nine days after the end of the Eagles football season, Kupp broke his silence on Twitter:

“I believe in this team and that God has a purpose for Anna and I,” Kupp wrote, referring to his new wife. “Going to be a great year to be an Eagle!”

At the same time, Kupp shared the news with a video distributed to members of the Eagle Athletic Fund.

“I’ve decided that I want to spend the 2016 season as an Eagle and be part of something great here at Eastern Washington,” he said in the video. “I believe that God has a plan for me and a great plan for Eastern Washington, and I want to be a part of that. I look forward to this offseason and getting Eastern Washington back into the national championship.”

The announcement ended months of speculation that Kupp would leave early and pursue opportunities in professional football or at another school.

Kupp, who just completed his redshirt junior season, saw his stock soar after catching 114 balls for 1,642 yards and 19 touchdowns this year. In a three-year career at EWU, the Yakima native has 311 catches for 4,764 yards and 56 touchdowns.

Kupp has shined brightest on the big stage: In three games against Oregon, Oregon State and Washington, Kupp had 510 yards and eight touchdowns on 28 catches.

“I’d be shocked if you could show me a better receiver at any level in the country,” EWU coach Beau Baldwin said.

Lauded for his ability to make tough catches over the middle and fight for yards after the catch, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Kupp appeared to be a strong candidate to make an NFL roster as a slot receiver. He was projected by some websites to be drafted somewhere between the fourth and sixth rounds of next year’s NFL draft.

Kupp was not available for comment Monday night, but told Baldwin earlier in the day that several factors pushed him to stay – the least of which was a chance to pad his stats.

They included the motivation of helping EWU contend for the FCS national championship, the chance to finish his career with his classmates, and the opportunity to play another season with younger brother Ketner, a linebacker who appeared in all 11 games this year as a true freshman.


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