Air Force Athlete of the Week: Garrett Kauppila

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The big house was no big feat for Air Force Falcon junior safety Garrett Kauppila, even if the result didn’t match the effort on the field.

“Not a moral victory. That was a game, that we absolutely could have, should have won, but no one wants to talk about the could have-should haves. We should have done it. If that is the case this was our first full four quarter fight, and it was against an absolutely talented team. Size, speed, coaching, all that stuff was there. So, we learned a lot about ourselves, but also, just how to play,” Kauppila said.

Kauppila recorded a career high 8 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and forced a fumble. The junior is so humble, he claims anyone on the Falcons defense could have made the same plays.

“When the o-line and the linebackers are able to funnel the ball to specific places, take on the blockers, especially of that size and that caliber, guys like Michigan. And sometimes, it left me in the right place at the right time,” Kauppila said.

The junior management major has not seen varsity action until this year due to AN injury. However, he has been quick and eager to share his love and knowledge of the game.

“His commitment, that is what is so impressive. He was determined to grow and develop and become a quality division one football player. And he is someone that is very instinctive. Someone that wants to help others with a reminder, give someone a heads up  about a formation or a run fit that may help a linebacker play even faster,” Head Coach Troy Calhoun said.

“I would say being a student of the game, and pushing that off on everyone else is absolutely something I can say, ‘I do a good job of that’ I do think that I take every day down here very seriously. I put in all the time after hours. This game means a lot to me, and you don’t get too many chances to play it,” Kauppila said.

His goal is to be the best teammate he can be. Any success that comes along with that is bonus.

“I’m going to continue to just hustle, be an emotion, be someone who plays the game with passion. If I can do that for our defense, if I can communicate at a high level, play the game with passion, at the end of the day I can only be the best person I can be. If I can do those things, it will really help our team, and our defense as a whole,” Kauppila said.

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