Jim Otis and Jeff Hartings
Jim Otis and Jeff Hartings

(6-4-18) Mercer County natives, Jim Otis (Celina) and Jeff Hartings from (St. Henry) have been nominated to be a part of the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 that will be announced on Januaray 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, Calif., the site of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

Two other Buckeyes are nominated as well, Keith Byars and tackle Chris Ward

Jim Otis

Otis attended Ohio State University, where he was a fullback for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 1967 to 1969. He led the team in rushing every year of his college career. As a senior in 1969, he was as a consensus first-team All-American, and was seventh in the vote for the Heisman Trophy.

Otis was inducted into the Ohio State Varsity  Hall of Fame in 1996. In the Ohio State record book, he remains second only to Archie Griffin among Ohio State running backs in career rushing yards per game. In 2000, Otis was selected to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team.
Otis was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1970. The following year, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Otis played the last six years of his nine-year NFL career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Otis’s most successful year as a professional was in 1975, when he rushed for an NFC-leading 1,076 yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Otis beat Minnesota’s Chuck Foreman by 6 yards, thus preventing Foreman (who led the NFC in touchdowns and receptions that year) from achieving a rare Triple Crown.

Jeff Hartings

All-American Selection: 1994, 1995

Guard, 1994 and 1995, St. Henry, Ohio, selected by the Associated Press and Walter Camp in 1994 and the Football Coaches, United Press International, Walter Camp, and The Sporting News in 1995. Hartings was the cornerstone of a Penn State offensive line that surrendered only three sacks in all of 1994 and helped the Nittany Lions lead the nation in scoring and total offense, setting 14 school records. A starter in the final 31 games of his career at long guard, Hartings was the 11th Nittany Lion to twice earn first-team All-America honors. He was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten choice and a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award. Hartings also was just the fourth Lion selected to the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team on two occasions and was chosen a National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. Hartings was selected by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1996 National Football League Draft. Now retired, he played for the Lions (1996-2000) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2001-06), earning All-Pro honors in 2004 and `05. He lives in Baden, Pa.


To be nominated a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.

2019 College Football Hall of Fame players ballot

Player School Position
Flozell Adams Michigan State OT
Bernard Berrian Fresno State KR/WR
Michael Bishop Kansas State QB
Lomas Brown Florida OT
Terrell Buckley Florida State DB
Brandon Burlsworth Arkansas OL
Larry Burton Purdue TE
Keith Byars Ohio State RB
Matt Cavanaugh Pitt QB
Dallas Clark Iowa TE
Marco Coleman Georgia Tech LB
Tim Couch Kentucky QB
Eric Crouch Nebraska QB
Eric Dickerson SMU RB
Rickey Dixon Oklahoma DB
Vaughn Dunbar Indiana RB
Jumbo Elliott Michigan OT
Bobby Engram Penn State WR
Kevin Faulk LSU RB
David Fulcher Arizona State DB
Robert Gallery Iowa OT
Moe Gardner Illinois DT
Tony Gonzalez Cal TE
Jacob Green Texas A&M DL
Dan Hampton Arkansas DT
Jason Hanson Washington State PK
Byron Hanspard Texas Tech RB
Kevin Hardy Illinois LB
Marcus Harris Wyoming WR
Marvin Harrison Syracuse KR/WR
Jeff Hartings Penn State OL
E.J. Henderson Maryland LB
Craig Heyward Pitt RB
Torry Holt N.C. State WR
Ken Huff North Carolina OL
Steve Hutchinson Michigan OL
Raghib Ismail Notre Dame WR
Larry Jacobson Nebraska DT
E.J. Junior Alabama DE
Jess Lewis Oregon State DT
Ray Lewis Miami LB
Bobby Majors Tennessee DB
Tony Mandarich Michigan State OT
Ed McCaffrey Stanford WR
Darren McFadden Arkansas RB
Cade McNown UCLA QB
Corey Moore Virginia Tech DL
Dan Morgan Miami LB
Ken Norton Jr. UCLA LB
Phil Olsen Utah State DE
Leslie O’Neal Oklahoma State DT
Jim Otis Ohio State FB
Carson Palmer USC QB
Jake Plummer Arizona State QB
Troy Polamalu USC DB
David Pollack Georgia DL
Antwaan Randle El Indiana QB
Simeon Rice Illinois LB
Ron Rivera Cal LB
Rashaan Salaam Colorado RB
Lucius Sanford Georgia Tech LB
Larry Seivers Tennessee WR
Kenneth Sims Texas DT
Aaron Taylor Notre Dame OT
Joe Thomas Wisconsin OL
Dennis Thurman USC DB
Troy Vincent Wisconsin DB
Chris Ward Ohio State OT
Michael Westbrook Colorado WR
Lorenzo White Michigan State RB
Zach Wiegert Nebraska OT
Patrick Willis Ole Miss LB
Al Wilson Tennessee LB
Steve Wisniewski Penn State OL
Elmo Wright Houston WR
Vince Young Texas QB

2019 College Football Hall of Fame coaches ballot

Coach School(s)
Larry Blakeney Troy
Jim Carlen West Virginia, Texas Tech, South Carolina
Pete Cawthon Sr. Austin College, Texas Tech
Dennis Erickson Idaho, Wyoming, Washington State, Miami, Oregon State, Arizona State
Billy Jack Murphy Memphis
Darryl Rogers Cal State East Bay, Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State, Arizona State