Cochrane played at Mount Vernon High School in Iowa, beginning his football career on the offensive side of the ball playing quarterback, tight end and running back. He signed on with South Dakota as a recruit in 2017 because he related to the small-town midwestern vibe, something that likely made Kansas City appealing as an undrafted free agent.
In his first year with the Coyotes, Cochrane was supposed to have a redshirt year. Injuries forced South Dakota to pull Cochrane’s redshirt in October and he would go on to appear in seven games to close out the year, mostly appearing on special teams, but with some snaps at linebacker. His first real action would come during the 2018 season, where he recorded over 100 tackles and earned First-Team MVFC All-Academic honors. For the next three seasons, Cochrane’s teammates would vote him as a team captain and he’d thrive as a defensive leader for the team.