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HomeSportsNFL Football 2023: Eagles Lead Big Sky with Five Players

NFL Football 2023: Eagles Lead Big Sky with Five Players

With five players on NFL rosters, Eastern Washington University leads the Big Sky Conference as the NFL 2023 season is set to go off on Thursday night.

Cooper Kupp

Kupp aims to recover from a 2022 season marred by injuries that only allowed him to compete in 9 games. Despite this, he amassed 812 receiving yards on 75 catches while scoring six touchdowns. His best season to date was 2021 when he set league records in all three major receiving categories and amassed 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns on 145 catches.

The attainment of the “Triple Crown” was the first in the NFL since 2005, and both the receptions and yards totals were Rams franchise records. He also established several NFL milestones, including the wide receiver with the most scrimmage yards and the first player to have more than 2,000 receiving yards in both the regular season and the postseason.

Kendrick Bourne

After a successful Eastern career from 2013 to 2016, during which he was a three-time All-Big Sky pick and went 39 straight games with at least one reception, Bourne went undrafted. He was one of five Eagles to play in a Super Bowl.

In each of his 52 career games (32 starts), Bourne and Kupp played together, forming an outstanding tandem. He signed a free-agency contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and played there for four seasons until agreeing to a 3-year contract with New England in 2021. He has 227 catches for 3,003 yards and 17 touchdowns in 91 career NFL games as of 2023, with an 800-yard, 5-TD season in 2021 with the Patriots standing out.

NFL 2023

Samson Ebukam

Ebukam was a three-time All-Big Sky pick, an All-American in 2016, a Freshman All-American in 2013, and an All-American in 2016. His 24 career sacks put him sixth in school history. In 53 games (38 as a starter), he recorded 188 total tackles.

The Rams chose him in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draught (125th overall). Since then, he has been a consistent contributor to the league, starting 56 of the 91 games he has played in for the Rams (4 years) and San Francisco 49ers (2), totaling 220 tackles (134 solo), 22 sacks, and at least three sacks in each of the last five seasons.

Taiwan Jones

A cornerback who was first recruited, Jones shifted to running back as a redshirt sophomore and never looked back, winning the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year and the All-American award. In 24 games for the Eagles between 2008 and 2010, Jones averaged 7.7 yards per run, playing a crucial part in the 2010 National Championship squad.

In the vote for the Walter Payton Award, he came in fourth. The Oakland Raiders selected him in the fourth round, 125th overall, the same round as Ebukam was selected, just six years earlier in 2011. He has had a successful, lengthy NFL career, having appeared in 137 games as of 2023, mainly as a returner.

Nsimba Webster

Speedy receiver from Antioch, California, Webster amassed 156 catches, 2,233 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns as an Eagles member from 2015 to 2018. Upon his departure, each of those totals was among the top 20 in program history.

His most notable performance was in December 2018, when he tied the Eagle single-game record and the FCS Playoffs single-game record with four touchdown receptions in a victory over Maine.

He signed a free agency contract with the Rams after being undrafted out of college and has since made stops in San Francisco and Chicago. He has made 29 NFL appearances in his career, mainly as a returner on special teams. He has also added two receptions for 14 yards.

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