2011 Intro: Norkeithus Otis

GASTONIA, N.C. --- In his second season as a starter, Norkeithus Otis was named Big South Conference Player-of-the-Year and landed a spot on the Charlotte Observer's All-Observer Football Team.

Playing the SAM linebacker, Otis, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, accumulated 109 tackles, including 21 for a loss and ten sacks, and four forced fumbles.

"We'll have him on the end, depending on what defense we're in," Ashbrook head football coach Michael Briggs said. "He will play in space some for us. Most of the time, though – a lot of teams that we play are more run oriented than pass – he's up on the line of scrimmage."

Otis' play has led to scholarship offers from East Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

"His speed and agility coming off the corners is really impressive," Briggs said. "He has the knack of how to pass rush, which a lot of guys have to learn. He does a lot of things instinctively, like getting after the passer."

Most schools are recruiting Otis as an outside linebacker – particularly on the strong-side, according to Briggs.

"He could walk up, hand on the ground, and pull a play up," Briggs said. "That SAM ‘backer is where a lot of schools really see him."

Duke is one of the few schools projecting Otis at defensive end.

"I'd rather play defensive end than linebacker [on the collegiate level]," Otis said. "You can get off the end and get to the quarterback. At linebacker you have to sit and wait a little bit and than get after it."

Art Kaufman, UNC's linebacker coach, is recruiting Otis for UNC.

"[Kaufman] is talking about how far along Norkeithus is," Briggs said. "Very mature, good character, and just how aggressive he is playing from side-to-side – his motor won't quit. It's hard to teach a kid to play every single down and Coach Kaufman just loves that."

Kaufman and Otis have already had several conversations. Otis has also spoken to a Duke assistant and NC State's Andy McCollum.

Otis grew up a Florida fan and lists the Gators as his favorite school. Despite having an offer from his favorite, he isn't looking to make a verbal commitment until the football season.

"Right now, I'm just seeing what's best for me – where I fit in best; where I'm going to get playing time at," Otis said.

To help find the best fit, Otis plans to visits several schools during the spring and summer, but is unsure of any destinations. He has already made unofficial visits to Duke, UNC, and Tennessee.

Otis is a part of Ashbrook's track team. He participates in the 200-meter dash, high jump, and 4x100 relay. His personal best high jump is 6-foot-2.

Norkeithus Otis Profile


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