"I've been coaching for 23 years and he is one of the headiest and savviest football players that I've coached," Ashbrook head coach Greg Hill said. "It was my first year here [last year], put in a new scheme, and he picked it up almost immediately. There are just things that you see him do on the field that you don't have to coach. He just seems to have a knack for the ball and making plays – he's going to be around the football.
"He'll be a faster more productive player now, because he's been in the system a year… If a kid knows what he's doing, if he's a kid that runs a 4.5 [in the 40-yard dash] then he's a 4.4 player [on the field]. If you know where you're going, know what you're doing and your reads are faster, you'll play faster."
Although he plays safety for Ashbrook, Hill projects Otis as a cornerback on the collegiate level.
"He is really a hybrid-type kid for us," Hill said. "I've told the colleges that I think at the next level he will be a corner. I don't know if he'll ever get tall enough to put enough weight on to be able to play safety [in college] to be a 215-225-pound kid. But I know as a corner, he'll be a big corner – he'll be a 5-11, 6-0 corner… and carry around 190 [pounds] and he'll be a pretty physical corner."
Despite playing on a defense that featured two Division I-A seniors – Norkeithus Otis (North Carolina) and Zeek Bigger (East Carolina) – Otis led the team in tackles with 102. He also had five interceptions, one pass breakup, two forced fumbles, and two sacks.
"With us, he plays in the zone over the top, he plays in the box for us when we go eight-man front, plus he could play man, too," Hill said.
Otis was named All-Area following his junior season and was a candidate for conference player-of-the-year.
Otis is also a major special teams contributor.
Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Nebraska, UNC, and NC State are among the schools that have expressed a significant interest in Otis.
"He's getting a lot of looks," Hill said. "… I foresee [schools offering] fairly soon. I can't see schools waiting to make a decision on him."
Otis says he's "open to every school" but recognizes the assumption that he'll follow his brother, Norkeithus -- a 2011 Tar Heel signee -- to UNC.
"I want to play with my brother, but it just depends – I want to start, too," Otis said. "It also depends on if I fit in well with the system and how much I like the school and also the coaches."
Otis has accompanied his brother on several recruiting trips, including visits to Duke, Florida, UNC, and Tennessee. Among his visits to UNC were football games against East Carolina and Virginia Tech.