BOULDER — With four boys bouncing off the walls of the Kopp household, the games never stopped.
Well, maybe sometimes they stopped.
“Our rule was if someone started crying we had to stop.” laughed Braden Kopp, older brother of CU Buffs freshman quarterback Maddox Kopp. “We were always competitive, always outside playing sports.”
It should come as little surprise, then, that all four Kopp siblings have followed in the footsteps of their father, former University of Tennessee-Chattanooga tennis player Will Kopp, as scholarship Division I athletes.
Braden played offensive tackle at Vanderbilt, Miller is a senior forward for the Indiana men’s basketball team, and Anderson is a senior guard at Missouri-Kansas City. Maddox, meanwhile, is starting his first preseason camp in Boulder looking to move up the CU Buffs quarterback depth chart this fall.
After transferring in January from the University of Houston, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound redshirt freshman has work to do in order to catch up to incumbent starter Brendon Lewis, sophomore backup J.T. Shrout and redshirt freshman Drew Carter.
Kopp said he’s focused on getting better every day.
“When I decided to come here I knew that I just wanted an opportunity to compete and that’s what I’m doing every day, I love it.” Kopp said. “We are pushing each other and it’s been great.”
Before Kopp found his love for football, he played basketball alongside his brothers. In fact, it wasn’t until his junior year at St. Thomas High School in Houston that he committed to pursuing football after high school.
“I wanted to be a basketball player, but I fell in love with every aspect of the quarterback position and didn’t look back,” Kopp said.
His newfound commitment, as well as a growth spurt that saw him shoot up four inches, led to Kopp taking over as quarterback for St. Thomas, where he led the Eagles to a 16-7 record in two seasons. He completed 431 of 752 passes for 6,334 yards, 59 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
“He did the work and committed to the role,” St. Thomas football coach Rich McGuire said.
Playing basketball helped Kopp get noticed as a football recruit, with his brothers chipping in their own expertise.
“We put photos of his dunks before his highlights so that people could see his athleticism and height,” Braden said. “That’s what jump-started his recruiting.”
Two years later, Kopp is in a crammed CU quarterback room but said he enjoys the competition and uses his teammates to get better. Most of all, he is excited to start his own journey.
Despite being far apart geographically, Maddox and his brothers are still as close as they were in childhood. Whether it’s through Facetimes or their private group chat, the Kopp brothers support one another, especially their youngest brother.
“Once he puts the pieces together he can do some really special stuff,” Braden said. “I know why a lot of people are excited about Maddox. His ceiling is as high as he wants it to be.”