Four More from Army Football Earn Preseason Accolades
The Army West Point Football Team had multiple defensive players named to the Preseason All-Independent Team by Phil Steele Publications recently. The Black Knights were represented on the squad with four first team honorees and one on the second team. Nolan Cockrill, Arik Smith, Jabari Moore and Cedrick Cunningham Jr., were all named to the first team, while Andre Carter was selected to the second team.
Cockrill returns to West Point for his final season as one of four team captains. The defensive lineman was key to the success of the defense in 2020 and made an impact on special teams with two block kicks. He posted a career high with 2.5 sacks and a total of 28 tackles in 12 games played.
Smith, also among the team captains for the upcoming season, finished his third season with the Black Knights in 2020 with 78 total tackles, which tied for the team lead. He also led Army with 3.5 sacks during the campaign and his nine tackles for loss were tied for tops among the Black Knights as well. One of Smith's highlights from the 2020 season was his interception to seal the win over Air Force in Army's 10-7 victory to capture its fourth Commander in Chief's Trophy in five years.
Moore played in 10 games for the Black Knights in his second season at Army. He registered a career-best 36 tackles and his three interceptions were the most among his defensive unit. He scored his first career touchdown against Mercer with a pick-6 and then had a key interception against Air Force to help claim the CIC Trophy for the Black Knights.
Cunningham enters his final season for Army after appearing in double digit games in the previous three seasons. He added a career high 70 total tackles and posted an interception in 2020. Cunningham, who is also a team captain, was named the Chuck Bednarik Award National Player of the Week after recording seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in the season opener against Middle Tennessee State. Read more.