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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Nebraska Football POY: Drew Ott

By Ben Rohrbach

A dedicated ESPNHS POY team managed the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the awards program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character. For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Drew Ott

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Giltner (Neb.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Tight end/quarterback/fullback/linebacker/defensive end
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 247 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Ott hauled in 52 receptions for 960 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season, leading the Hornets (10-1) to the Class D2 state quarterfinals. A two-time returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald, he also rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries in addition to completing 7-of-8 pass attempts for 99 yards and a score. Defensively, Ott amassed 122 tackles, four forced fumbles and four interceptions for a defense that allowed just 87 rushing yards and 78 passing yards per game.

Academic excellence: Also a basketball and track standout, Ott has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom and ranks No. 2 in his graduating class.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth football and basketball instructor, Ott has volunteered locally on behalf of his church and the annual Giltner community homecoming event, Autumn Fest.

THE PRAISE: Samuel Boshart, head coach of rival Harvard (Neb.)

“Drew Ott is an outstanding football player. He’s very football smart and always seems to be involved in every play either on defense or offense. I was able to watch Giltner’s playoff game against Humphrey St. Francis, and he set the tone of the game early by just outplaying and being more physical than the opposing team.”

THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination

Ott has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Iowa beginning in the fall of 2012.