« Football 2013

Ross Cockrell



Political Science


Cockrell graduated from Duke in December, 2013, with a degree in political science and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political science. Among his academic accolades, he was a 2012 Academic All-District III selection and is a three-time Academic All-ACC selection. He has also been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll four times.


Cockrell is a team captain for the second straight year in 2013. In addition to his leadership of the entire team, Cockrell serves as a mentor to the Duke football freshmen, leading them in a number of seminars about how to handle various aspects of college, including academics, social life and football.

Additionally, Cockrell has used his leadership qualities to influence youth outside of the Duke football program, speaking to local middle and high school students about the importance of character and education. His long-term career goals include becoming an administrator within a college athletics department.


Cockrell is very active in the Durham community as well as his hometown of Charlotte. He volunteers his time at local schools to speak with the students about character and education in both academic and athletic settings. He has also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham, the Duke Children’s Hospital and Camp Kaleidoscope.


Cockrell is among the top defensive backs in the nation, having earned All-ACC first team and All-America Honorable Mention honors from Sports Illustrated last season. He is on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, the Jim Thorpe Award and the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy and was a midseason All-ACC pick by Phil Steele this year. Cockrell has 25 tackles, one interception, three pass breakups, 1.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss this season while anchoring a defensive unit that holds opponents to 208.5 passing yards per game. He ranks among the top six in school history in interceptions, pass breakups and passes defended. Cockrell broke out as a junior, logging five interceptions, 13 pass breakups, 71 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. He also scored two touchdowns, one on a blocked field goal and the other on an interception return. His play was key in allowing Duke to post a 6-6 regular season record and reach a bowl game for the first time since the 1994 season.