Cooper Kupp and Kendrick Bourne were teammates at Eastern Washington University and a potent duo that tortured opposing defenses, combining to set FCS records for catches and yards from 2013-2016. Despite their dominance together, Kupp would go on to get drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft, while Bourne was left to catch on as an undrafted free agent with the 49ers.
Kupp is now on the verge of his first Super Bowl appearance after leading the league in catches, yards and touchdowns, but Bourne has found his way as well, posting career highs with the Patriots in 2021. On Monday night during media availability, Kupp shared some advice he had given Bourne prior to their final season in college.
"Before our last year together, I actually sat down with him and told him straight up, 'You are a better receiver than I am,'" said Kupp. "And if he was able to get some things in order, he was going to just take off. And I think he really did."
Bourne did get his things in order, stacking four successful seasons in San Francisco before signing a three-year deal with the Patriots last offseason. Bourne recorded 55 catches for 800 yards and five touchdowns in 2021, while also throwing his first career touchdown pass in a season filled with highlights.
After seeing Kupp's comments on social media, Bourne responded on Twitter.
"I'll never forget, that day changed my perspective," wrote Bourne, "Looked at him like, 'u sure?' I'm still chasing my dog! You the best tho! Thanks for being a light in my life! U boutta get that ring."