AFI’s All-Pandemic Team: DL – Cardell Rawlings, Elecom Kobe Finies

The AFI All Pandemic Team is down to the last few selections and it has been getting harder and harder to make our final decisions, but after watching more of the Elecom Kobe Finies game film from Japan’s Xleague, picking Cardell Rawlings suddenly seemed natural.

Rawlings was quite simply a monster coming off the edge and up the middle for Elecom, stuffing running backs and terrorizing quarterbacks.

In fact, the versatile lineman, at 6’2″, 240 pounds, has thrived with Elecom since arriving last year. He had an immediate impact, leading the league in sacks and leading all defensive linemen and linebackers too. This year he continued creating mayhem in a pandemic-shortened season.

He was a standout playing for Wingate University (Div. II) and in his senior year earned Associated Press Division II first team All-American honors, while also earning first team accolades from the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association (D2CCA). He also earned second team recognition from the American Football Coaches Association that same year.

Cody Sokol, quarterback for Elecom, knows better than anyone what it feels like to face Cardell. He and the Kobe Finies offense had to do it every day at practice:

“Going up against him in practice is tough. He’s an excellent two way pass rusher with a variety of moves that allows him to get to the QB so I’m typically always needing to know where he is and try to make something happen with my feet in order to keep plays alive. He does a great job in the run game as well using his hands and quickly filling running lanes.”

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