(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
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.
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
|Flozell Adams||Michigan State||OT|
|Bernard Berrian||Fresno State||KR/WR|
|Michael Bishop||Kansas State||QB|
|Terrell Buckley||Florida State||DB|
|Keith Byars||Ohio State||RB|
|Marco Coleman||Georgia Tech||LB|
|Bobby Engram||Penn State||WR|
|David Fulcher||Arizona State||DB|
|Jacob Green||Texas A&M||DL|
|Jason Hanson||Washington State||PK|
|Byron Hanspard||Texas Tech||RB|
|Jeff Hartings||Penn State||OL|
|Torry Holt||N.C. State||WR|
|Ken Huff||North Carolina||OL|
|Raghib Ismail||Notre Dame||WR|
|Jess Lewis||Oregon State||DT|
|Tony Mandarich||Michigan State||OT|
|Corey Moore||Virginia Tech||DL|
|Ken Norton Jr.||UCLA||LB|
|Phil Olsen||Utah State||DE|
|Leslie O’Neal||Oklahoma State||DT|
|Jim Otis||Ohio State||FB|
|Jake Plummer||Arizona State||QB|
|Antwaan Randle El||Indiana||QB|
|Lucius Sanford||Georgia Tech||LB|
|Aaron Taylor||Notre Dame||OT|
|Chris Ward||Ohio State||OT|
|Lorenzo White||Michigan State||RB|
|Patrick Willis||Ole Miss||LB|
|Steve Wisniewski||Penn State||OL|
2019 College Football Hall of Fame coaches ballot
|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|