Dallas Goedert, Jack Cochrane add to South Dakota's Super Bowl history

Eagles tight end, Chiefs linebacker latest to play in big game

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) against the New York Giants during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field on Jan. 21, 2023 on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Eric Hartline / USA Today Sports

For the second year in a row, South Dakota will be represented by both teams in the Super Bowl.

Jack Cochrane, a backup linebacker for the Chiefs, played for the USD Coyotes. And the Eagles have Dallas Goedert, the former South Dakota State star and Britton native who has risen to become one of the best tight ends in pro football.

A third, former South Dakota State quarterback Chris Oladokun, spent this year on the Chiefs practice squad but won't be active for Sunday's big game.

Last year, former SDSU linebacker Christian Rozeboom got a ring playing for the Los Angeles Rams, while Parkston native Riley Reiff was a member of the AFC champion Bengals but didn't play due to an ankle injury.

That South Dakota can plan on being represented in the Super Bowl more often than not these days is a testament to the rise of high school and college football within the state.


Including Oladokun, 17 players either from South Dakota or who attended a South Dakota college played in the NFL this season.

It wasn't that long ago that it was a big deal if more than a couple NFL players had ties to the state. Now you can be assured there will be at least a couple taking the field every Sunday.

That's what two decades of Division I status and an aggressive commitment to youth sports training has done for football in South Dakota.

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Philadelphia Eagles Press Conference
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert speaks during a press conference at the Sheraton Grand on Feb 7, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona before Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cheryl Evans-Chow / USA Today Sports

Dallas Goedert one of NFL's top tight ends

Goedert's story is etched into South Dakota legend by now. A multi-sport star at Britton-Hecla, Goedert turned down a scholarship offer from Division II Northern State to walk-on at SDSU, and in short order turned himself into the best tight end in school history. He had 92 receptions as a junior and 72 as a senior, going over 1,000 yards both seasons.

At 6-foot-5 and 260-pounds with giant hands and impressive speed and leaping ability, not to mention glue-like hands, he was an obvious pro prospect, and was taken by the Eagles in the second round of the 2018 draft. Philadelphia was the defending Super Bowl champ at the time, and five years later they're back, with Goedert a big part of it.

In five seasons he's caught 248 passes for 2,997 yards and 19 touchdowns. He missed five games due to injury this year but still finished with 55 receptions for 702 yards. Late in the 2021 season, the now 28-year-old signed a four-year extension with the Eagles worth $59 million, with $35.7 million of it guaranteed.

South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert carries the Dakota Marker to the Jackrabbit fan section as his teammates celebrate Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at the Fargodome. David Samson / Forum News Service
South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert carries the Dakota Marker football after a catch during a game on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at the Fargodome.
David Samson / Forum News Service

He figures to play a significant role Sunday for an offense that has been boosted by the emergence of quarterback Jalen Hurts and running Miles Sanders, while second-year wideout DeVonta Smith (95 catches for 1,196 yards) has given the Eagles a deep threat to make Goedert even more dangerous over the middle.


Goedert will also be motivated by the tight end on the opposite side of the field from him. Kansas City's Travis Kelce is a future Hall of Famer, eight-time Pro Bowler and one of the tight ends Goedert most admired and modeled himself after while still at South Dakota State. Kelce had 110 catches for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

Jack Cochrane fought his way to Super Bowl Sunday

Jack Cochrane
Kansas City Chiefs photo

The USD Coyote defense has had its ups and downs in recent years, but Cochrane was a rock for them at linebacker.

A four-year starter and three-time all-conference pick, the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Mount Vernon, Iowa, Cochrane could do it all.

As a senior, he guided the Coyotes to the FCS playoffs, leading the team and ranking fourth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 103 tackles while also grabbing four interceptions and notching a pair of sacks. In all he started 39 games in his career as a Yote, finishing his career sixth on the USD all-time list in tackles with 327. He was one of the league's most respected defensive players, both by opposing players and coaches, and was three times voted captain at USD while also earning a pair of academic All-American nods, highlighted by being named the Valley's scholar athlete of the year in 2021.

Those intangibles probably go a long way in explaining how Cochrane fought his way to Super Bowl Sunday.

Though he went undrafted, he signed with the Chiefs as a rookie free agent the next day, and went about working his way onto a roster.

Though he was waived at the end of training camp, the Chiefs signed Cochrane to their practice squad the next day. That made him officially a professional football player, but the role would be short-lived.

University of South Dakota's Jack Cochrane tackles Southern Illinois' Justin Strong during the FCS playoff game on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
Mitchell Republic file photo

After just two games, Cochrane was elevated to the active roster, and he never left it, playing in 17 games (counting the playoffs) for the AFC champions. He's appeared exclusively on special teams, taking the field for 299 plays on various kick, punt and return teams and getting credited for nine tackles.


Other South Dakotans to play in the Super Bowl

Players listed with either their hometown or college connection:

Lyle Alzado, Yankton College

Super Bowl 12, Broncos

Super Bowl 18, Raiders

Ordell Braase, Mitchell, USD

Super Bowl 3, Colts

Matt Chatham, USD

Super Bowls 36,38, 39, Patriots


Dallas Clark, Sioux Falls

Super Bowl 41, Colts

Tom Compton, USD

Super Bowl 51, Falcons

Nate Gerry, Sioux Falls

Super Bowl 52, Eagles

Corbin Lacina, Augustana

Super Bowl 38, Bills


Jim Langer, SDSU

Super Bowls 7,8, Dolphins

Paul Laaveg, Sioux Falls

Super Bowl 7, Commanders

Karl Mecklenburg, Augustana

Super Bowls 21, 22, 24, Broncos

Doug Miller, Sturgis, SDSU

Super Bowl 29, Chargers


Jay Novacek, Martin

Super Bowls 27, 28, 30, Cowboys

Craig Puki, Deadwood

Super Bowl 16, 49ers

Riley Reiff, Parkston

Super Bowl 56, Bengals

Christian Rozeboom, SDSU

Super Bowl 56, Rams

Adam Timmerman, SDSU

Super Bowls 31, 32, Packers; 34, 36, Rams

Adam Vinatieri, Rapid City, SDSU

Super Bowls 31, 36, 38, 39, Patriots; Colts 41, 44

Matt Zimmer is a Sioux Falls native and longtime sports writer. He graduated from Washington High School where he played football, legion baseball and developed his lifelong love of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, he returned to Sioux Falls, began a long career in amateur baseball and started working as a sports freelancer. Zimmer was hired as a sport reporter at the Argus Leader in 2004, where he covered Sioux Falls high schools and colleges before moving to the South Dakota State University beat in 2014. Email Matt at
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