He was one of four Eagles to undergo surgery in a five-day span from Sept. 29-Oct. 3. In NCAA Football Championship Subdivision statistics released on Oct. 2, he was 11th in receiving (7.25 with 29 total) and 14th in receiving yards per game (93.3 per game with 373 total yards).
He opened the 2011 season with 10 catches (20th in EWU history) for a career-high 140 yards in Eastern's opener at Washington (9/3/11). His performance helped Eastern to a dominating 504-250 advantage in total offense in the 30-27 loss as he was one of four Eastern receivers to record career highs for receptions and yards in the game. With the Eagles at the Washington 25-yard line and poised to score the go-ahead touchdown, Desmond Trufant out-positioned Kaufman for a game-clinching interception for UW with 29 seconds to play. Trufant's brother, Isaiah, played for Eastern from 2002-05.
Kaufman also had eight catches versus South Dakota (9/10/11) and six catches for 140 yards and a touchdown versus MSU before his injury. He earned honorable mention nationally by the College Football Performance Awards for his performances against UW and MSU.
Entering the season, Kaufman joined teammate Bo Levi Mitchell on the Walter Payton Award "Watch List" as a candidate for the award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision by The Sports Network. Selected to the 28-member Athlon College Football Preview preseason All-America team and was also a first team preseason All-American by Phil Steele's FCS College Football Preview. The Sports Network selected him as one of the top 10 returning wide receivers in FCS in 2011, and he earned a similar honor from College Football Performance Awards as one of the top 38 receivers back. Earned preseason All-Big Sky Conference honors as selected by the league's media and sports information directors, and was also a first team All-BSC selection by Phil Steele. Was limited in spring drills because of surgery following a shoulder injury suffered in the 2010 season.
Despite an early-season shoulder injury suffered against Montana (9/18/10), he started all 15 games for the Eagles. He proved to be Eastern's go-to receiver, catching a team-leading 76 passes to rank as the fifth-most in school history (now sixth). His catches were good for 1,214 yards (then fifth and now sixth in EWU history) and 15 touchdown receptions (now third behind the school-record of 19 set by Eric Kimble in 2004 and equaled by Nicholas Edwards in 2011). His TD total was the second-most in FCS as he caught a TD pass in 11 of 15 games in the 2010 season, including EWU's last seven regular season games. His 90 points scored now ranks 12th in school history and his 15 touchdowns overall is now 10th.
In addition, he had fourth-quarter game-winners against Northern Arizona, Southern Utah and Delaware, and had a game-tying catch with 3:08 left in EWU's come-from-behind win over Northern Colorado. He finished his sophomore season ranked 25th in FCS in receiving yards per game (80.9), was 45th in receptions per game (5.1) and his 15 touchdown catches were the second-most in FCS. Junior Bo Levi Mitchell had a school-record 37 touchdown passes in the 2010 season and Kaufman caught 15 of those himself, but none were bigger than their 11-yard connection with 2:37 to play in the NCAA Division I Championship game in Frisco, Texas. The connection capped a 63-yard drive as EWU used three long drives in the final 16:48 to rally from a 19-0 deficit for a 20-19 victory. It was the sixth victory of the season for EWU when it trailed or was tied in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the title game and trailing 19-0, Eastern finally scored when Mitchell found Kaufman for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Before that five-play, 80-yard drive that took just 1:30 off the clock, the Blue Hens had a 337-98 advantage in offense. Kaufman equaled his season high by finishing with nine catches in the game, good for 120 yards, with six of his catches for 96 yards coming in EWU's final three scoring drives.
Against Villanova (12/17/10) in the NCAA Championship Subdivision Playoffs at Roos Field, Mitchell hit Kaufman with a short pass down the sideline, and Kaufman exploded past the defense for a 76-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. But he didn't stop there, as Kaufman sped through the end zone and did a "Lambeau Leap" into a crowd of Eagle fans. The third-quarter score -- the 30th-longest pass play in school history (now 31st) -- gave Eastern a 10-point lead in the 41-31 victory, catapulting EWU into the FCS title game. Kaufman had a total of six 100-yard receiving performances in 2010, with those coming against Montana on Sept. 18 (five catches for 119 yards), Weber State on Oct. 2 (five catches for 138 yards), Northern Arizona on Oct. 9 (five catches for 117 yards), Southern Utah on Nov. 13 (nine catches for 129 yards), Villanova on Dec. 17 (eight catches for 135 yards) and Delaware on Jan. 7 (nine catches for 120 yards). He earned honorable mention accolades nationally by the College Football Performance Awards for his performance versus NAU. Against Southern Utah (11/13/10), he caught what was then a career-high nine passes for 129 yards with a long of 43, and had touchdown catches of 25 and 24 yards that were of the "how did he make that catch?" variety. His latter TD catch came with 3:39 left and provided the winning points in Eastern's 31-24 victory.
In the next game against Idaho State (11/20/10), he scored EWU's first two touchdowns in the 34-7 victory with TD catches of 10 and 30 yards. Among his three catches at Portland State (10/30/10) was a 15-yard touchdown grab. He had just four catches for 34 yards against Sacramento State (10/23/10), but he had a 17-yard touchdown to start the scoring and a game-winning 6-yard scoring grab with 33 seconds to go in the game. One game prior, he had a five-catch, 94-yard performance against Northern Colorado (10/16/10), which included a 4-yard touchdown pass with 3:08 left that knotted the score at 28. He is a 2009 graduate of Heritage High School in the Denver, Colo., area, just a short distance from the game played in Greeley. His family was at the game in force, reportedly purchasing 80 tickets for the game. He earned team offensive player of the week honors versus Central Washington (9/11/10) when he had four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, and again versus NAU and Southern Utah.