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NFL Draft Pick Cooper Kupp Prepares for Impactful Career

Selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2017 NFL Draft, 23-year-old Cooper Kupp is entering his rookie season with high expectations and a reputation of unwavering commitment to his faith. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Cooper Kupp plays football

with immeasurable conviction.

COOPER KUPP: It all goes back to why I'm here.

God created me to play this game.

That is where my fuel comes from.

Everything I do is to glorify God,

and I'm playing for nothing but Him.

When I step on the field, I can feel His pleasure.

NARRATOR: The first steps that brought

the under-recruited Yakima prospect to Cheney, Washington

eventually led Cooper to break every major career

pass receiving record in college football.

And fittingly, on eastern Washington's red turf,

frequently leaving opponents blushing.

Does it amaze you what you were able to achieve?

I'm always going to look back and think that wasn't enough.

I'm not good enough yet.

I need to continue to work and continue to get better

to the best of my ability, and that

goes all the way back to how I view myself

as a player and the work I put in.

NARRATOR: His eye-popping production as a four year

starter made highlights, but Cooper's route running,

football IQ, leadership, and sure hands sold NFL teams.

Arguably the best slot receiver in April's 2017 draft,

Cooper became the Los Angeles Rams' third round pick.

I believe I can play in the NFL.

I want to play this game at a very high level.

I believe that's where God put me.

As I move into this next year, my wife and I,

we want to be a part of that.

We want to step into that role fully, be a light for God,

and we're excited to be a part of a great city,

a great organization, be surrounded by great people.

You've alluded to football as an art, so paint for us

a picture of what that looks like for you.

Football in itself, in the I play just like in art,

there's no one way to do it.

Everyone has their own style, their own little nuances.

And for me, it's about being able to grab

from different people, being able to put together

what's my style going to be and take tricks from everyone I can

and to do it to the best of my ability

and to do it as pretty as possible.

What makes for great route running?

It wants precision, timing, understanding

where the quarterback wants you to be

and getting there at that time.

And so there's always things that go into it.

So a lot of it's just developing that chemistry

with the quarterback.

I want to be a crisp route runner.

That's going to be a part of my game and who I am as a player.

All right, for the ball snap.

Now, gripping ball, looking at toes, looking at feet,

getting an idea of where the QB's going to go.

So on ball snaps, I can attack and be out.

When was the last time when you

felt like I'm just not going to be big enough to play.

There was never a point where I believed that I couldn't

do what I believed I could.

I had friends that have written me off.

I had coaches that had literally told me,

you need to lower your expectations for yourself

that you're not going to be able to do these things.

I still had my faith in God and what I

believed His plans were for me.

I had my family here to encourage me and push me.

And that was a huge thing for me.

NARRATOR: The Kupp family is close.

Mom Karen and Cooper's dad Craig have been fixtures

through Cooper's football development,

drawing from both Craig and Grandpa Jake's NFL careers.

You come from a unique NFL bloodline.

How have they helped shape your mindset?

So I was very lucky to have a dad and grandpa that

have the same passion I do, that have

played at a very high level.

They've instilled in me not just what

the work it takes and the respect you have for the game,

but also understanding that there is an opportunity

to reach out and have your hand on the lives of people

who might be less fortunate than you.

NARRATOR: During their senior year,

after Cooper and Anna married, the couple

offered support to incoming freshmen who were transitioning

to college life.

COOPER KUPP: I remember what it was

like when I came as a freshman.

There was a football fraternity, and wanting

to be a part of that so badly, and going to these parties,

hanging out with people that aren't going down

paths that match up with my goals for myself.

And there's no fulfillment there.

And so my wife and I just wanted to put a barbecue

on for just the freshman, just encouraging

them to surround themselves with guys that understand that, that

are going to push some to pursue something greater than that

in their lives.

And that was something that Cooper and I really

wanted to be just a solid place to come to or go to

and to love them and to allow them to know

that Cooper is there for them.

INTERVIEWER: Is there a similarity between running

routes and following Him?

Yeah, I think there is, actually.

When you start a play, there's a route.

There's a path that you're going to be on.

And there's a lot of things, a lot

of people, that are going to be trying

to take you off this path.

If you start drifting downfield, you

got a safety taking your head off.

There's repercussions on either side of you.

They understand when you're off that path,

you're not pursuing great plans, the route ahead,

the plans that God has for you.

How do you define your Christianity?

I'm walking this path, just like so many

of my Christian brothers and sisters are.

And I strive for my relationship with Christ

to become closer every day.

And there's battles every day.

Just know that God's grace is plentiful,

is sufficient, and is going to fill that.

And I've experienced it throughout my entire life

and will continue to just become more and more aware of how

great that is.

INTERVIEWER: You have always seemed

to exceed the level of competition around you.

How will you define your NFL success?

COOPER KUPP: I'm going to pursue being the best player I can be,

and part of that is being able to produce.

Part of that is being able to win championships.

But when I walk off the field, I know

I've given everything I can.

I've been the best teammate, the best player, the best man

off the field to my family, to this community, to my wife.

I've put everything I have into this,

and I've walked the walk to the best of my ability.

And you know what?

As long as I know I've done that,

that's going to be plenty for me.

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