For those of you who might’ve missed the memo, The Daily Gopher is counting down the Top 10 players on the current football roster. TDG staff members were asked to submit their rankings based on on-field performance and those selections were used to create a composite set of rankings. We’ll be unveiling our Top 10 every couple days over the next few weeks.
Our countdown continues with linebacker Cody Poock at No. 7.
Poock arrived at Minnesota as a transfer from Iowa Western Community College with three years of eligibility left in 2014, but suffered an injury during spring practice that sidelined him for the entire fall season. That didn’t stop him from earning Defensive Work Team Player of the Year honors at the end of his redshirt season.
As a redshirt sophomore, Poock had a monster season at linebacker for the Gophers. He started in eight of the 12 games in which he played that year and finished the season second on the team in tackles with 99, including 5.5 tackles for loss. Poock had five games that season where he recorded double-digit tackles. He was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention by the media.
For me, Poock stands apart in large part because of his sure tackling. Once he has his hands on you, you’re not going anywhere. But he also has great instincts. He can quickly diagnose a play and has surprising closing speed for a linebacker.
His junior year didn’t quite go as planned. Poock missed six games, including the final four of the season, due to a shoulder injury. He finished the year with 24 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one pass breakup after starting six games.
Considering how he rebounded from being sidelined as a sophomore, I have no doubt Poock will be back and ready to lead the Gopher defense as a senior.
Above all, Poock knows how to form tackle, and that’s what matters.
TDG’s Top 10 Gopher Football Players:
No. 7 - Cody Poock
No. 8 - Rashad Still
No. 9 - Blake Cashman
No. 10 - Ryan Santoso
Be sure to check back on Wednesday as we reveal No. 6!