High School Sports

5-star Texas A&M freshman Baylor Cupp returns to Brock to accept award with best friend

Baylor Cupp hasn’t been a student at Brock since December. He’s been in College Station, getting acclimated to life at Texas A&M and working to establish his place on the Aggies football team.

But on Monday, the Aggies’ 6-foot-6, 245-pound freshman tight end was back on the Brock campus to share a special moment with his best friend since second grade, John Brunner. The two received their awards for being named to the 2018 “Dave Campbell’s Texas Football” and Whataburger Super Team.

“It’s awesome to share this with John, something like this doesn’t happen every day,” Cupp said. “We’ve been together a long time, and this is really special.

Brunner, a 6-foot-3, 315-pound senior offensive tackle, who has signed to play at the University of North Texas next season, was equally sentimental.

“It’s definitely a blessing to get this award, especially with Baylor,” Brunner said. “It’s just crazy to believe this program has accomplished what we have in such a short time.”

Only three teams in the state had two players named to the elite squad, the other two being Aledo and Cibolo Steele. Honored from Aledo were offensive lineman Chandler Knandel and defensive lineman Wyatt Harris, both seniors who helped the Bearcats to a 16-0 record and the 2018 5A Division II state championship.

In fact, Cupp transferred to Aledo in junior high, but transferred back to Brock midway through his freshman year when Brock added a football program. He and Brunner helped the Eagles to a 26-5 record in their two seasons as varsity starters, including a berth in the Class 3A Division I state championship game in 2017.

And, they are also the first two NCAA Division I football signees from Brock.

“The exposure both of those guys got for Brock, it’s only going to help our program grow,” Brock head coach Chad Worrell said. “This speaks volumes for how we’ve come as a program, to win a state championship (in 2015), play for another, and now have two Super Teamers, that is amazing.”

Brock’s first season in the UIL was 2014.

“How cool is it for these guys to grow up together, play together and have so much success in high school, and win these awards while making history?” Worrell said.

“Me and John, we’ve always pushed each other, so we knew this could happen,” Cupp said. “When I came back from Aledo, people questioned it. They said nobody gets signed to play D-I from a 3A school. But we’re just the first. We didn’t have any recruiters come out this way from D-I before, but we’ve got tons of D-I talent here.”

Brunner added, “I always heard it wasn’t possible for players to go D-I from a 3A school, but I never believed that, and now we’re proof.”

Cupp graduated early from Brock, so he’s already been inaugurated into the life of college football - well, spring ball at least. He said he’s already learned that the old saying is true, almost everyone on a college team was the best player on their high school squad.

“The mental part of it was a big lesson. You have to be mentally stronger,” Cupp said. “In high school I dominated and, except for John, was bigger than just about anybody else, but now, everywhere I look there’s somebody just like me.”

But Cupp said coming from Brock, where it seems all they do is win, he welcomes the challenge.

“I didn’t back down from it all. I kept my head down, worked hard, and I’m excited about the fall season.”

Cupp said he is confident Brunner will make an impact for the Eagles football team at UNT.

“I think John is going to do great at UNT. He’s grit and determination,” Cupp said.

Unlike Cupp, Brunner has yet to work out with his college team. However, with the UNT Eagles having back-to-back nine-win seasons, Brunner said there’s no better time to join the program.

“I’m really excited and I don’t know what to expect, but I think this is the right time to come in,” he said.

Though their teams aren’t currently scheduled to play each other during their time in college, each said they are going to be keeping a close eye on the other’s team. And, it’s not that from College Station to Denton, so if the Aggies or Eagles are off that week and the other is playing, they just might be in the stands cheering.

And after college? Both are business majors, so the possibility of going into a venture together is also on the table, they jokingly agreed.

“Who knows?” Cupp said. “It’s not something we’ve talked about, but you never know.”
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