Undrafted rookies Couplin, Lucas hope to make their mark

Posted Sep 2, 2014

Both Jerome Couplin and Cornelius Lucas still have a lot of work to do, but they’re in the door, and sometimes that’s the toughest part.

Jerome Couplin was on his way to the William & Mary vs. Virginia Tech game on Saturday when he found out he made the Detroit Lions’ initial 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie free agent.

Couplin, the hard-hitting strong safety out of William & Mary, registered 10 tackles, along with a couple big hits, in the preseason.

What made the moment even more special was Couplin said he was in the car with his grandfather Floyd Montague and father Jerome Jr., along with his stepfather and cousin.

Jerome CouplinS Jerome Couplin (Photo: Detroit Lions)

“I was lost for words,” Couplin said Monday. “I didn’t know what to say. I was just smiling and my father turned around in the car and he said, ‘You must have made the team because you’re smiling really hard.’

Excuse Couplin for not being able to contain a smile. As an undrafted rookie free agent, his journey to the 53-man roster is harder than most.

Offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas knows that path. Like Couplin, he went undrafted in May and was quickly signed by the Lions after the draft.

The 6-foot-9, 325-pound Lucas says he normally keeps his phone on vibrate, but turned the volume all the way up on Saturday.

“I really didn’t get too much sleep (Friday night),” Lucas admitted. “I didn’t know when they were going to start making cuts, so I was up by my phone at 7 a.m.

“The funny thing is my coach actually called me. I didn’t know if the coach called you it was a good thing. If someone else calls you it isn’t good. He called and I got kind of scared, but he told me I made the team.”

Both Couplin and Lucas still have a lot of work to do, but they’re in the door, and sometimes that’s the toughest part.

Tight end Joseph Fauria knows the road traveled by Couplin and Lucas. He and LaAdrian Waddle were undrafted rookies who ended up making the Lions roster last year.

“Everyone’s path is different,” said Fauria, who was really happy for Couplin and Lucas when he heard the news Saturday.

“It’s not how you get here. It’s how you stay here.”

Last year both Fauria and Waddle turned stellar training camps into key roles during the 2013 season.

Fauria was second on the team with seven touchdown receptions and Waddle ended up starting eight games at right tackle.

Fast forward one season and Couplin and Lucas hope to forge the same kind of success.