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Cooper Kupp wins national award from athletic directors

Former Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp won another big honor Thursday.

After another record-breaking year, Kupp earned a repeat selection as the FCS offensive player of the year from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Director’s Association.

Kupp is training in Irvine, California, for an opportunity to play in the National Football League and will not be present in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday when he will be recognized along with the defensive player of the year, defensive end Karter Schult of Northern Iowa.

Kupp also will skip the STATS FCS Awards Banquet on Friday night in Frisco when the winner of the Walter Payton Award is announced.

Kupp, who won the Payton last year, joins teammate Gate Gubrud and Sam Houston State quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe as the top three vote-getters for the award.

Kupp was a consensus FCS All-American for the fourth straight season, but now sets his sights on the NFL Draft on April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

The NFL Combine is Feb. 28-March 6 in Indianapolis, Ind., and he has also been invited to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala., at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time on the NFL Network.

Kupp earned first team All-America honors on all seven teams announced, including recognition as the FCS Athletic Director’s Association Wide Receiver of the Year.

Kupp missed 1 ½ games early in the season and half of two others with shoulder injuries, but he still finished with a Big Sky Conference record 117 catches for 1,700 yards and 17 scores.