Aaron Donald wasn’t the only college football player dominating the state of Pennsylvania in the early 2000s. And now that the LA Rams have signed Allen Robinson, these two cross-state stars are also teammates for the first time.
Looking back at it now, 2013 was one hell of a year for current Rams with their past college football teams.
Over at Penn State, Allen Robinson caught 97 passes for 1,432 yards. Most shockingly of all, he did it with Christian Hackenberg. Robinson had totaled almost 2,500 yards over his sophomore and junior seasons, then entered the NFL Draft in 2014 and was selected with the 61st overall pick by the Jaguars.
Robinson was named as a second-team All-American and a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award.
At Pitt, senior Aaron Donald wrapped up his historic college career by winning the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award, and was a unanimous All-American. Donald was the 13th overall pick of the 2014 draft, going to the St. Louis Rams. Donald had 28.5 tackles for a loss in 13 games that year, along with four forced fumbles and 11 sacks.
But arguably the most unbelievable season of any college football player in 2013—and nowhere near Pennsylvania—was not even happening at an FBS program. Cooper Kupp, a freshman at Eastern Washington with no division-I interest a year earlier, caught 93 passes for 1,691 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Kupp won the Jerry Rice Award as the top FCS freshman in the country. Kupp had three more unbelievable seasons and was the 69th overall pick by the Rams in 2017. Kupp and Rice continue to be linked at the NFL level:
This season Cooper Kupp:— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 14, 2022
- Won the receiving triple crown
- Won Offensive Player of the Year
- Won Super Bowl MVP
Jerry Rice is the only WR in NFL history to do all of those things in an entire career. Kupp did that in a single season. pic.twitter.com/l7g1p3Un5D
Though he is not on the Rams as of today, another award winner in 2013 was Odell Beckham Jr. The junior at LSU had 59 catches for 1,152 yards and won the Paul Hornung Award. The award goes to “versatile, high-level performers” and OBJ’s win came a year after former Rams receiver Tavon Austin. The winner of the Fred Biletnikoff Award in 2013 was Brandin Cooks, another receiver who had a stop in Los Angeles with the Rams.
Cooks had 128 receptions for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns with Oregon State in 2013.
Other first and second-team All-Americans in 2013 who played with the Rams or were drafted by the Rams: Tre Mason, Sammy Watkins, Michael Sam, and Lamarcus Joyner, another first-team All-American.
Robinson and Kupp combined for over 3,000 receiving yards with their respective offenses in 2013, and now they will be lining up together for the L.A. Rams in 2022. It’s also possible that Beckham will come back and join them midseason.