Oct 17, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris (17) looks to pass as North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Norkeithus Otis (8) defends. The Miami Hurricanes defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 27-23 at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Norkeithus Otis named to Bednarik Award Watch List

North Carolina football’s Norkeithus Otis was named to the 2014 Bednarik Award Watch List earlier this morning. The rising senior had 42 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season for the Tar Heels.

The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the best defensive player in college football, as deemed by the Maxwell Football Club. In 2013, Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh won the award, and in 2012, Manti Te’o took home the trophy.

In 2001, Julius Peppers of North Carolina was the recipient of the award.

Norkeithus Otis grew up in Gastonia, N.C. and attended Ashbrook High School. There, he was a SuperPrep All-American and was rated the No. 16 linebacker in the country by the same service. He didn’t play much his freshman season at UNC, recording just four tackles in 2011.

His sophomore season, Otis had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. His first career sack came against East Carolina for an eight yard loss. But last year, he really broke out to the tune of 42 tackles. Otis recorded his first career interception against Miami in the Blackout game. He will be one of the leaders of the defense this upcoming season.

Otis has struggled with injuries and consistency his first three years at Carolina, but being named to this Watch List shows his potential as a menace in the backfield for the Carolina defense.  Regardless of whether or not he wins the award, Otis will always have the award for coolest name in college football in my book.

Tags: Football Larry Fedora Norkeithus Otis North Carolina Tar Heels

comments powered by Disqus