Tight End
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 255
Year: Senior
City/State: Ames, Iowa
High School: Ames


Honors & Awards

  • Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, 2012)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2011, 2012)
  • Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, 2011)
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District VII (2011)
  • First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2009, 2010)
  • All-Big 12 Freshman Team (, Sporting News)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2011, 2012; Spring 2012)
  • Four-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll
  • Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2010, 2011, 2012)

Tight end Ben Cotton completed a productive Nebraska career on and off the field in 2012. The fifth-year senior appeared in the 52nd game during his Nebraska career against Georgia in the Capital One Bowl and made his 39th career start, including every game in 2012. He and fellow senior Kyler Reed teamed up to give Nebraska one of the Big Ten's best tight end duos the past two seasons.

The 6-6, 255-pound Cotton was a complete tight end in the Nebraska offense. Cotton finished 2012 with 18 receptions for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a game-winning score at Northwestern. Cotton also provided a physical blocking presence on the perimeter, helping Nebraska lead the Big Ten and rank eighth nationally in rushing offense. Cotton earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors for his effort.

Cotton was one of seven Huskers to play the entire 2012 season as a graduate student after earning his degree in December of 2011. He was also one of 28 Huskers to be named academic All-Big Ten in 2012. The selection puts Cotton in an elite class of Nebraska football players who have been four-time academic all-conference selections during their career.

Cotton was joined on the Nebraska roster by his two younger brothers, Jake, an offensive lineman and Sam, a tight end.

2012 (Senior)
Southern Miss:
Was one of 10 receivers to catch a ball on the day, as he hauled in one catch for five yards. UCLA: Started against the Bruins, but did not record a catch. Arkansas State: Started against ASU and caught one ball for six yards. Idaho State: Grabbed one ball for four yards... was one of 10 Huskers to catch a pass on the day. Wisconsin: Tied a then-career high with 36 yards on two grabs... had a season-long grab of 26 yards in the third quarter came on a drive that ended with a FG from Brett Maher that tied the game, 27-27... 26-yard grab was two yards shy of tying his 28-yard catch at Wisconsin in 2011. Ohio State: Had a three-yard TD reception in the third quarter for his second career touchdown reception, and first since a 2009 TD catch at Colorado in his redshirt freshman season... had two receptions on the night for 19 yards. Northwestern: Had only one catch, but was one of the biggest catches of the season as it was a seven-yard TD grab that completed NU's 29-28 comeback win... was his second TD reception of the season and the third of his career. Michigan: Caught two passes for 21 yards... was one of nine receivers to catch a ball. Michigan State: Caught one pass for six yards. Penn State: Caught one ball for 18 yards in the third quarter that moved the Huskers into PSU territory. Minnesota: Played in his 50th career game at Nebraska in his final game at Memorial Stadium... notched one tackle on special teams, his fourth career tackle. Iowa: Went over 400 career receiving yards with a career-high tying three catches for a career-high 39 yards, both team highs... marked the third time in his career he has caught three passes and bettered his previous high of 36 yards at Northwestern in 2011. Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship): Was one of seven receivers to catch a ball... hauled in one reception for nine yards. Georgia (Capital One Bowl): Caught two passes for 69 yards, including a career-long 56-yard reception in the first quarter... 69 yards were also a career best for Cotton.

2011 (Junior)
Cotton and fellow junior tight end Kyler Reed gave Nebraska one of the Big Ten's best tight end groups. Cotton finished with 14 catches for 189 yards, and had four catches of at least 20 yards. He had a 27-yard grab in the second quarter against Chattanooga, and a week later set up a touchdown against Fresno State with a 20-yard catch to the Bulldog 1.

2010 (Sophomore)
Cotton earned 13 starts, and finished the year with three receptions for 34 yards. He had single receptions against Idaho, Kansas State and Missouri, including a season-long 22-yard grab against the Tigers. Cotton's blocking also helped Nebraska average 247.6 rushing yards per game to lead the Big 12.

Cotton's career-long 28-yard catch at Wisconsin set up a second-quarter touchdown. He added two catches each against Minnesota and Michigan State before tying his career high with three catches for a career-high 36 yards against Northwestern. Cotton had a 17-yard catch before being injured at Penn State. The shoulder injury caused him to miss the next two games, but he returned to start against South Carolina, and had one catch for 22 yards.

2009 (Redshirt Freshman)
Cotton played in every game with a start at Baylor. He had five receptions for 43 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown at Colorado. Cotton had three catches for 33 yards against CU, and had single receptions against Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State. Cotton also scored a touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette by recovering a Roy Helu Jr. fumble in the end zone. Cotton also served on Nebraska's kickoff return unit.

2008 (Redshirt)
Cotton redshirted in his first season at Nebraska.

Before Nebraska (Ames HS)
Cotton committed shortly after the hiring of Bo Pelini as head coach, and was the first scholarship signee from Iowa since 2001. Cotton was a three-year standout for Ames High and Coach Bruce Vertanen. As a senior, Cotton caught 44 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns to earn first-team Elite All-State honors from the Des Moines Register.

He was the team's only two-way starter, also lining up at defensive end. Cotton missed six games because of injury in 2006, but still had 10 receptions. He first started as a sophomore and earned second-team all-conference honors. Cotton was a two-year starter in basketball and qualified for the state track meet in the discus. He was also a pitcher and center fielder in baseball, earning honorable-mention all-conference honors in 2008. Cotton chose Nebraska over offers from Louisville, Iowa, Kansas, Iowa State and Wisconsin.

Ben is the son of Barney and Christine Cotton and was born on June 13, 1989. He is a graduate student in business with a 3.501 GPA. Cotton is a three-time first-team academic all-conference selection. Cotton, who earned academic All-Big Ten honors in 2011, was also a first-team academic All-Big 12 selection in 2010 and a four-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. In 2011, Cotton claimed a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District VII team.

Cotton is a three-time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team and was chosen as one of Nebraska's Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award winners across all sports in the spring of 2011. He has volunteered his time and volunteered his time at School is Cool Week, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, team hospital and elementary school visits. His father, Barney, played for the Huskers from 1975 to 1978.

Career Statistics









2008 Redshirt            
2009 14/1 5 43 8.6 3.4 24 at Colorado 1
2010 14/13 3 34 11.3 2.6 22 vs. Missouri 0
2011 11/11 14 189 13.5 17.2 28 at Wisconsin 0
2012 14/14 18 239 13.3 17.1 56 vs. Georgia 2







56 vs. Georgia


Single-Game Highs
» Receptions
-3 three times (most recently at Iowa, 2012)
» Yards-69 vs. Georgia (2013 Capital One Bowl)
» Touchdowns-1 three times (most recently at Northwestern, 2012)

View Full Bio
Ben Cotton Press Conference 10/22/12
Ben Cotton Interview - 9-24-12
One-on-One with Jeremiah Sirles and Ben Cotton