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Gubrud selected as 2016 FCS Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus

Gubrud Selected as FCS Player of the Year Gubrud Selected as FCS Player of the Year

By EWU Athletics

After breaking a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision single season record with more than 5,000 passing yards, Eastern Washington University sophomore quarterback Gage Gubrud has been selected as the 2016 FCS Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio).
 
In addition, the TDC has selected EWU senior wide receiver Cooper Kupp to receive its President's Award. Both players have been invited for the presentation of awards at the the 62nd Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at Express Live! in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  For additional information regarding the TDC Awards and the Club's 62-year history, visit www.tdccolumbus.com
 
In leading the Eagles to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs and a 12-2 season, Gubrud had 5,160 passing yards to break the FCS record of 5,076 set by Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion in 2012.  Gubrud had 48 touchdown passes and rushed for another 606 yards (a school record for a quarterback) and five scores, finishing with 5,766 yards of total offense to come just 33 from the 22-year-old FCS record of 5,799 set by Alcorn's Steve McNair in 1994. Both yardage marks for Gubrud broke Big Sky Conference and school records held by Vernon Adams Jr. in 2013 (4,994 and 5,559).
 
Gubrud will be the sixth recipient of the TDC's FCS Player of the Year Award, with Heinicke the winner in 2012. Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins won in 2015, Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State won in 2014 and Timothy Flanders of Sam Houston State won in the inaugural year in 2011.
 
Already among the four Eagles from the 2016 squad to earn All-America honors, Gubrud and Kupp combined for a record-breaking season of offense for the Eagles. In all, Gubrud broke three FCS records, seven Big Sky marks and 15 school records. Kupp broke one all-division collegiate record, 15 FCS records, 11 Big Sky marks and 26 EWU records during his illustrious career. That duo finished in the top three in the voting for the Walter Payton Award presented this year by STATS, and the winner will be presented on Jan. 6, 2017.
 
Gubrud is a 2014 graduate of McMinnville (Ore.) High School, and finished as the FCS leader in total offense at 411.9 per game, passing yards (5,160) and passing yards per game (368.6), and was second in points responsible per game (22.9), total points responsible for (320) and passing touchdowns (48). He was also third in completion percentage (.677) and third in passing efficiency (166.6).
 
Besides his FCS record for passing yards, his 11 games with at least 300 yards passing and 12 with at least 300 yards of total offense are also FCS records. Gubrud broke EWU and Big Sky Conference single season records set by Vernon Adams Jr. in 2013 for passing yards, as well as for total yards of offense, with Gubrud finishing with a total of 5,766. His average of 411.9 yards of offense per game was also a league and school record.
 
Gubrud has just 13 career starts (11-2 record), but he already owns six of the top eight single game total offense performances in school history (1-2-3-5-6-8) and five of the top 14 passing performances (1-3-6-13-14). In addition, he had an impressive string of 222 passes without an interception, going four full games from Sept. 24 to Oct. 22 without a pick. He had a school-record 551 yards of total offense in the first start of his career, a 45-42 season-opening victory over Washington State of the Pac-12 Conference.
 
Kupp led FCS in receiving yards per game (130.8), was second in receptions per game (9.0), and tied teammate Shaq Hill for the FCS lead in receiving touchdowns (17). Kupp had a Big Sky record 117 catches (sixth in FCS history) for 1,700 yards (fourth in FCS history) in just 13 games played this season, already ranking first and second, respectively, in school history. He finishes his career with the 1-2-3-5 season marks in receptions, and 2-3-4-6 in yards.
 
His all-division record of 6,464 career receiving yards was set after a pair of early catches in the first quarter against Richmond on Dec. 10. He surpassed the NAIA record of 6,177 by Chris George of Glenville State from 1991-94 after surpassing NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III records earlier this season. His yardage, 428 receptions, 73 touchdown catches, 124.3 average yards per game, 31 games with at least 100 receiving yards and 1.40 average TDs per game were all FCS records.
 
Off the field, Kupp became a three-time Academic All-American at Eastern, earning first team honors in both 2015 and 2016 and second team accolades as a sophomore. He completed his degree in economics with a 3.62 grade point average. A 4.0 student in high school, he is a 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash.