Cottrell prepares to tackle another challenge

Jack Cottrell was one of 19 Eden Prairie High School athletes to sign national college letters of intent Feb. 6.  He is looking forward to attending Boston College on a football scholarship.
But the Eagle linebacker can’t help but take a look back at many team and individual highlights from his prep football career.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Cottrell was Eden Prairie’s leading tackler during the past two seasons. Cottrell played a major role as the Eagles won back-to-back Prep Bowl titles including a 28-7 victory over Lakeville North in last fall’s state Class 6A championship game in the Metrodome.
The Eagles won their eighth state football title as Cottrell not only led the team in tackles but provided three interceptions and saw offensive duty as a receiver. Eden Prairie finished with an 11-2 record.
Cottrell received all-conference, all-metro and all-state recognition for his efforts.
Cottrell joined an elite group of Eden Prairie linebackers who received numerous high school and college honors. Among Eden Prairie’s former star linebackers were Blake Sorensen, Bryce McNaul, Travis O’Neel and Ryan Iversen.
“It was a lot of fun winning back-to-back state football titles,” said Cottrell. “We kept our focus this past season after losing a couple of games.
“We used losses to Edina and Wayzata for motivation.”
Eden Prairie head football coach Mike Grant believes Cottrell has the potential to do well at the college level.
“Jack is very smart and athletic,” said the Eagle coach. “He has been one of our leading tacklers for two seasons and has good speed.
“He has run the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds.”
Boston College’s football coaching staff hasn’t decided what position Cottrell might fill for them when he joins their program.
“I enjoy playing linebacker because it is easier to see the field than playing on the line,” said Cottrell. “But Boston College coaches indicated they might try me at defensive end.
“But I will accept any role to help the team and get a chance to play.”
Cottrell is staying fit during the winter season while starting for Eden Prairie’s basketball team. As a junior post player, Cottrell helped the Eagles advance to state last season. He is hoping for another state tournament appearance as a senior.
“Basketball keeps me in shape and I enjoy the sport,” said Cottrell. “Playing basketball is good for my cardiovascular system and helps me with my quickness and agility.”
Cottrell will spend this spring lifting weights to improve his strength. He will attend classes at Boston College next summer after he graduates from Eden Prairie High School June 10.
“I’m excited about attending Boston College and looking forward to the challenge of playing football at that level,” said Cottrell. “I will take two classes this summer and will probably major in business.”
Cottrell has never shied away from challenges and will tackle college academics and athletics with the same energy at Boston College as he did at EPHS.