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Watch list: Nolan Cockrill candidate for Nagurski, Outland Trophy

Danny Wild

Senior nose tackle and captain Nolan Cockrill is the first Army player to make a 2021 preseason award watch list.

Cockrill was named a candidate for the Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy Tuesday. The Nagurski Trophy is given to the nation’s best defensive player. The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation’s top interior lineman.

Statistics didn’t tell the whole story of Cockrill’s breakout 2020 season. Cockrill disrupted fronts and took on multiple blockers allowing linebacker Jon Rhattigan and Arik Smith to make plays. He made 28 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Cockrill added four quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

CBS Sports Network analyst Ross Tucker believes Cockrill, who was voted one of four captains by his teammates for the 2021 season, has pro potential.

“He’s a 3-4 defensive end (at the next level),” Tucker said on the Black Knight Nation podcast in May. “He’s a total bad ass and I love that guy.
I’m so glad he has another year.”

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