The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday that former Wildcat All-American and NFL standout Brad Ottis will be one of five players for the 2017 induction class this fall. Ottis is the lone state college player in this year’s induction class that includes Nebraska Husker greats Donnie McGhee (1968-70), Randy Theiss (1980-82), Chad Kelsay (1995-98) and Zac Taylor (2005-06).
Ottis becomes the eighth Wayne State College football player to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, joining Virgil “Joe” Lindahl (1973), Burt Mattheis (1980), Al Bahe (1996), Pat Donohoe (1998), Sam Singleton (2004), Ruben Mendoza (2007) and Robert Kruse (2009).
Brad Ottis (pronounced AH-tiss) was arguably the most dominant defensive player to ever play football for Wayne State from 1990-93. The All-American defensive end finished his Wildcat career as the school’s all-time leader with 45 sacks among his 217 tackles.
As a junior in 1992, Ottis registered a staggering 17 sacks for 132 yards lost among his 57 total tackles. He added 14 more sacks for 124 yards lost among his career-high 82 tackles as a senior, despite facing constant double teams.
With Ottis leading the defense for Coach Dennis Wagner and quarterback Brett Salisbury and receiver Byron Chamberlain leading the offense, the Wildcats produced the best season in school history with a 9-1 record in 1993.
Ottis earned All-America honors after being selected as the defensive captain of the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska NCAA Division II football team, before being invited to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic on Christmas Day. He also played in the Senior Bowl.
Ottis was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft (56th overall pick), seven picks after former Husker Toby Wright went to the Rams. After playing 13 games in Los Angeles, Ottis moved with the Rams to St. Louis in 1995. In 1996, he was a member of the Arizona Cardinals, making one start and totaling 24 tackles. He spent five seasons with the Cardinals, culminating with 11 starts and a career-high 38 tackles in 2000. He played in 81 career NFL games with 23 starts.
The Fremont Bergan graduate, who was born in Wahoo, was inducted into the Wayne State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. Ottis returned to the Midwest following his NFL career to play with the Sioux City Bandits in the professional indoor football league for several years. He currently resides in Norfolk and served as a volunteer assistant coach at Wayne State for the last two seasons (2015 and 2016).
This year’s Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted in Lincoln during a dinner on Friday, September 15th on the Nebraska campus and will be introduced prior to the Husker home game September 16th vs. Northern Illinois.