UIndy quarterback Gavin Sukup’s journey to Division II through junior college

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In his first season as a Greyhound, sophomore quarterback Gavin Sukup accumulated many awards during the season. Sukup said he enjoyed the team’s winning culture this season. 

“[The team] has family culture here, so they took me in like I’ve been here the whole time,” Sukup said. “And that makes things really easy when you’re trying to revamp an offense and kind of get things going that way that makes it really easy when the culture is good.”

Sukup finished the season with 2,716 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns, along with helping the team to another Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship, according to UIndy Athletics. Additionally, he won GLVC Offensive Player of the Year, and he was one of eight sophomores in Division II to be a candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy. Passing Game Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Michael Engle said enjoyed his time being able to coach Sukup this season. 

“It was just an absolute pleasure coaching him,” Engle said. “He’s a guy that comes to work every single day, works hard, sets a standard. Kind of a first guy in, last guy out mentality. Very critical of himself, always wants to be the best, wants to be a great leader, wants to be a great teammate, strives for greatness and tries to push other guys to get to that level. And any time you have that type of leadership, and are able to create that type of culture, it’s just a joy to be around and a joy to coach.” 

According to UIndy Athletics, Sukup started his collegiate career at the College of DuPage where he played Junior College Football where he was a National Champion and All-American.  

 “We took that first round playoff loss and that sucks,” Sukup said. “But I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it’s just great surprise, the best decision I made in my life, and we got really good coaching staff here. [Also a] really good team, really good family culture.”

Growing up, Sukup said he has been playing football since he was a kid; However, he did not know that football was what he wanted to play in college until the end of his senior year. As a three-sport athlete in highschool, Sukup played football and baseball cementing all-state in both sports while being a state track runner in hurdles. 

“When you watch him play, you see the fact that he’s just a really good all around athlete, and he’s able to extend plays, and he’s able to create things on the move,” Engle said “It’s funny when we were recruiting, and we went back, and we watched his high school tape… you really see the athleticism, he’s doing everything he’s playing offensive [and] playing defense, I don’t think he came off the field in high school. And you see some of that translate, some of those skills, even from the other sports to on the field on Saturdays when he’s scrambling around and making plays.”

Throughout his time playing, Sukup said he has had others motivate him along his journey through highschool and college even leading him to what he might pursue after playing football.

“Growing up, I’ve always had great coaches,” Sukup said. “Not just in athletics, but just in life, too, [I have] just been blessed to have really good coaches. I feel like that’s pushed me to want to be a coach when I’m done playing.”

Next season, Sukup said he hopes to improve with the offense while keeping the football and playing at a higher efficiency. Engle said he is excited to see Sukup continue to grow as a leader. 

“I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much of a great person he is,” Engle said. “Great student, great worker,  it’s been an amazing year to work with him, seeing him grow, seeing him develop. I’m incredibly proud of him. We have high standards for him, and I know he wasn’t satisfied with how this year went. I’m excited to see what next fall looks like.”

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