Turner Cockrell

Vanderbilt athletics

Vanderbilt TE Turner Cockrell passes away after battle with cancer


The Vanderbilt football family is mourning the passing of tight end Turner Cockrell. Vanderbilt announced Cockrell passed away after a fight with cancer on Thursday.

Cockrell, a redshirt sophomore, revealed in early September he had been battling melanoma since November of 2017. A procedure to remove cancerous lymph nodes in his ear and collarbone was conducted that December but it was later revealed the cancer had already spread to his lungs.

“My heart is broken for Randy, Noelle and the Cockrell family, for all of Turner’s teammates, and for all who came in contact with Turner,” Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason said in a released statement. “Turner had a wonderful spirit and fought an incredible fight. He was a Vanderbilt Man through and through, and he will always be remembered here.”

Cockrell did not play this season but was a key part of the program, sitting with Mason’s family on game days and staying closely connected to the program as much as possible while taking on his fight with cancer.