April 29th, 2013

Rocks alum Kupper signs with Texans

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer


Rocks alum Kupper signs with Texans
Alex Kupper (#66), signed a free agent contract with the Houston Texans / photo from gocards.com

From walk-on to walking onto an NFL practice field, Trinity High School’s Alex Kupper has faced many challenges in his life. None will be bigger than the most recent opportunity afforded him by the Houston Texans.

Kupper, who started the last 26 games of his Louisville career, was not drafted by an NFL team, but he was signed as a free agent by the Texans and will have an opportunity to make the team as an offensive lineman. His versatility, he started games at tackle, guard and center at UofL, will only enhance his chance to make the Texans’ roster.

“It starts with how you’re brought up,” said Kupper of his football journey. “When I started playing football as a twelve year old at St. Agnes, Paul Passafiume was a huge influence on me and told me that I was the type of guy that could really grow as a player and a person. I learned so much from people ahead of me and my peers and couple that with hard work and those are the major attributes that I can carry with me moving forward.”

The son of Vicki and Don Kupper, Alex graduated from Trinity in 2008 and was a classmate and teammate of Louisville reserve quarterback Will Stein. He credits Passafiume, Trinity head coach Bob Beatty and the Rocks’ offensive coordinator Andrew Coverdale for instilling a passion for the game and the values that come with it.

“I’m very blessed to have this opportunity,” said Kupper. “Only about one percent of all football players get this chance and maybe a percent of those players can actually make a career of it. It’s going to be a great learning experience I can take through my life.

“Coach Beatty taught us a lot of great lessons. You just can’t duplicate the lessons and values you learn as a high school football player. You learn teamwork, commitment, attitude being where it needs to be and all those things have an impact. Coach Coverdale was a huge influence, too, with how much love he has for the game. Just learning how much fun you have when you succeed and much fun it can be to battle adversity, all those different lessons were really valuable to me. And there are countless others at Trinity who helped along the way.”

Kupper is one of 23 undrafted free agents signed by the Texans. He will compete with at least a dozen other offensive linemen for one of the coveted seven or eight roster positions available or be signed to the practice squad.

“In sports and in life you’ve got to battle adversity,” Kupper said. “There were times at Trinity when we got knocked down and we had to get ourselves off the mat and come back stronger. At Louisville it was no different. With the coaching changes and changes in our schemes, we had to find that grit and tough-mindedness to produce results.”

One unique twist to Kupper’s signing is that the Texans also signed Florida defensive end Earl Okine, whom Kupper and the Cardinals defeated 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.

 

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