DURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt senior captains Ross Cockrell and Dave Harding were selected as two of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, the award committee announced Wednesday. Duke and Arizona State were the only schools with multiple players chosen as candidates.
To be eligible for the Senior CLASS Award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Cockrell and Harding have been mainstays in Duke’s lineup over the last four years and in 2012 played key roles in leading Duke to the 2012 Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. They were selected by their teammates as team captains for the 2013 season and helped Duke open the season with a 45-0 victory over N.C. Central.
Cockrell, a cornerback from Waxhaw, N.C., has started 37 games in his Duke career and earned All-ACC first team honors in 2012. An Academic All-District III selection and a three-time member of the Academic All-ACC Football squad, he earned his undergraduate degree in political science in May, 2013, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in liberal studies. He is active in both the Durham and Charlotte communities, serving as a speaker at local schools to talk about the importance of character and education as well as service efforts at the Ronald McDonald House, Duke Children’s Hospital and Camp Kaleidoscope.
Harding, an offensive guard from Orlando, Fla., has started 28 games and over 2,300 snaps in his Duke career and has the ability to play all three offensive line positions. An Academic All-District III selection and a three-time member of the Academic All-ACC Football team, he earned his undergraduate degree in public policy with a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in political science. Harding organized a mission trip for himself and 10 of his teammates to Ethiopia where they dug fresh-water wells in a remote village. The son of missionaries, he is also involved in a number of local community service efforts, including INJAZ, a Duke student organization that helps Iraqi refugees establish themselves in the Raleigh-Durham area, as well as the Ronald McDonald House, Duke Children’s Hospital and Camp Kaleidoscope.
From the initial list of 30 candidates, 10 will be chosen as finalists for the Senior CLASS Award midway through the college football regular season. For more information, visit www.seniorclassaward.com.