Otto Packs a Punch

Although not the prototypical linebacker, West Allis Hale linebacker Brian Otto certainly hits like a linebacker and that is why multiple division one schools are interested in him.

MADISON – Tuesday marked a pretty special day for hundreds of high school juniors. Coming from all over the Midwest and some from as far away as the coast, college prospects participate in Wisconsin's summer camps in hopes of showing the coaches what they can do and setting themselves up for a potential scholarship.

Unfortunately for Hale's Brian Otto, his opportunity was snatched away from him.

Invited to Wisconsin's invite-only one-camp Tuesday, the coaches were hoping to see how Otto fared against some of the best players in the Midwest. A week prior, however, Otto was undercut playing basketball at the YMCA and received 12 stitches and a minor concussion.

What made the news even worse was that Otto was forced to pull out of Wisconsin's camp.

"I hit my head pretty good and my dad felt that I shouldn't go and risk it," Brian told Badger Nation. "I really wanted to go because it was a big opportunity."

It was an ironic twist as Otto is usually the one laying out the punishment.

Standing only 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Otto does not fit the profile of a prototypical college linebacker. Don't tell that to the Menomonee Falls football team, as Otto laid such a ferocious hit on the team's quarterback that Otto ended up lacerating the quarterback's liver.

"That shows that Brian hits people," Hale head coach and Brian's Father Scott said. "He really does punish players."

"I feel hitting people is why I am good at all," Brian added. "I am not very fast and I am not the strongest but I bring good hits. When I go to camp, I am going to try and hit some kids to show my potential."

Selected to the first team of the Greater Metro Conference, Otto finished his season with 98 tackles, registering at least 10 tackles in every game but one. He can squat 580 pounds, bench 235, has a 30-inch vertical, runs a 4.78 40 yard dash and is a 3.6 student in the classroom with a 24 on the ACT.

"He's been around the game so much being a coach's kid that he understands technique, tendencies and picking things up on the field," Scott said. "He's been on the sideline with me since he was four and you can tell that he knows what he needs to do to be successful."

Since he's not the typical linebacker, Otto has been working twice as hard to increase his strength and his speed. A real gym rat, Otto works out with his dad/coach four days a week and works with former Badger Joe Panos at his New Level gym twice a week.

"Workouts there are really intense and really fun actually," Otto said. "He's really changed my mindset. I work really hard when I get there until the time I leave."

Even at his present size, North Dakota State has shown the most interest in the linebacker thus far. Although he had to pull out of their camp because of his injury, Otto is heading to Northern Iowa (another school that has shown interest) for its camp this Sunday and Monday.

"North Dakota has come to my school a couple of times and talked to me," Otto said. "They've shown a lot of interest along with Northern Iowa. Right now, it's a dream come true to potentially get a scholarship offer to play division one football. I am really excited about it."

Wisconsin coach Bob Bostad, who has routinely recruited the state of Wisconsin during his tenure, has been to Hale a number of times and has liked what Otto has done on the field and on film.

"Bob has been great," Scott said. "The biggest thing Bostad liked about him was the intensity that he brings and how hard he hits people. He's not the biggest guy or the prototypical linebacker, but he makes plays and makes them all over the field."

While the chances of Otto getting one of Wisconsin's roughly 17 available scholarships are unknown, Otto still lists playing for the Badgers as his ultimate goal, whether it's on a scholarship or a walk-on. A player certainly capable of playing at the division one level, Otto is certainly going to bring 100 percent intensity on every down.

"Wisconsin is the dream but the dream is somewhat out there," Otto said. "Playing division one is the ultimate dream, no matter where I play."


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