Vandy athlete loses battle with cancer

Posted at 9:12 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 15:02:54-05

Vanderbilt University student-athlete Turner Cockrell died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Cockrell was a third-year tight end on the Commodores' football team.

He was diagnosed with melanoma in his lymph nodes in fall of 2017. Despite surgery and treatment that winter, scans determined that the cancer had spread to Cockrell's lungs last summer.

The medicine, health and society major in Vanderbilt's College of Arts & Science is survived by his parents, Randy and Noelle, and two siblings, brother Parker and sister Katheryn.

The Commodores have dedicated much of their season to Cockrell during his battle with melanoma. He even sat with Head Coach Derek Mason's family in the coaches' suite during Vanderbilt's season-opening win over Middle Tennessee. He also received the game ball.

The team wore helmet stickers with Cockrell's No. 82 this season.

Following Vanderbilt's win over Tennessee in the regular season finale on Nov. 24, Mason opened his press conference with a shout-out to Cockrell and his family.

Vandy fans wanting to go to the Texas Bowl can purchase tickets in honor of Tucker.