BOZEMAN — While next Thursday marks the start of fall camp for Montana State, former Bobcat Lance McCutcheon is already in the thick of it fighting to make an NFL roster.
Lucky for him, he's getting help from quite the star in Cooper Kupp.
“I was trying not to be a little fan girl when we’re sitting in meetings, but it’s hard not to," McCutcheon laughed. "You know, I’m sitting in the back and I’m looking around. I’ve got Cooper [Kupp] in front of me, Matthew Stafford in the front row. The first two days I was a little star-struck. It was a little surreal for me, but we got good with it. Now they’re just my teammates.”
While it’s hard not to be star-struck by one of your idols, it wasn’t that long ago Kupp was in the same shoes heading to L.A. from Eastern Washington also chasing an NFL dream.
Yes, he’s now the reigning Super Bowl MVP, but just like McCutcheon it all started in the Big Sky Conference.
“We kind of had that Big Sky connection and you know hopefully this year and years to come you’ve got two Big Sky receivers out there," McCutcheon smiled. "We’ll see what happens.”
McCutcheon is one of 15 undrafted free agent rookies trying to make the Rams’ active roster, and while the team’s receiving corp is stacked with talent, with Cooper’s help some NFL insiders are calling him a “dark horse” in the receiver competition.
“Since day one, Cooper [Kupp] has been awesome," McCutcheon shared. "The first day he came and introduced himself to me and said, 'If you ever have any questions or anything just let me know I’m always here to help you,' and he helped me every single day whether it was with the plays or the routes.”
With training camp now in full swing for the L.A. Rams, next up for the rookie is three preseason games with Aug. 13 being the first against their stadium roommates, the L.A. Chargers.
“Just have to go down there and work, get the plays right, and when I get the opportunities take advantage," McCutcheon said. "If all that happens, I’ll be happy with the results by the end of it."