Honors & Awards
» Academic All-Big Ten (2013, 2014)
» Four-Time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll
» Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2014)
» Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2014)
Junior Sam Cotton has seen extensive action at tight end the past two seasons and will look to play a more significant role for the NU offense in Coach Mike Riley’s first season as head coach. The 6-4, 250-pound Cotton gives the Huskers a big receiving target, while also having the ability to be an effective blocker.
Cotton is one of three junior tight ends who have seen extensive playing time the past two seasons, joining Cethan Carter and fellow Lincoln Southeast product Trey Foster. Cotton has distinguished himself off the field, earning academic All-Big Ten honors the past two seasons. Cotton is the youngest of three brothers to play for Nebraska, joining older brothers Ben and Jake, who have completed their NU eligibility, while their father, Barney, also played and coached at Nebraska.
Cotton played in all 13 games with starts against Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue and Minnesota. He had three receptions for 41 yards, with two of his catches resulting in touchdowns. Cotton had a 10-yard catch in the opener against Florida Atlantic, then had a 23-yard touchdown grab at Fresno State. He added an eight-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter against Rutgers.
2013 (Redshirt Freshman)
Cotton played in 10 games, including a start against Purdue. He caught three passes for 22 yards, with a three-yard touchdown catch at Minnesota. He had a season-long 17-yard catch against Illinois and also had a reception at Purdue.
Cotton sat out his first season in the program as a redshirt.
Before Nebraska (Southeast HS)
Cotton played a key role in helping Southeast earn a Class A state title in 2011. The Knights finished with a 12-1 record, including a 21-9 victory over Omaha Burke in the state title game, when Cotton caught a 34-yard touchdown pass.
As a senior, Cotton had 23 receptions, including seven touchdowns. He also played defensive line for Coach Ryan Gottula’s team and made 42 tackles, including 7.5 sacks. Cotton earned first-team All-Nebraska honors from the Omaha World-Herald as a defensive lineman, and he was an honorary captain of that team. The Lincoln Journal Star also named him a co-captain of its Super State team, but listed him as a first-team selection at tight end.
As a junior, Cotton helped Southeast to a 10-2 record and a trip to the Class A semifinals. He was an honorable-mention all-state pick by both major newspapers as a junior. Cotton was ranked among the top four players in the state of Nebraska in the class of 2012. Cotton also competed in the shot put and discus for Southeast. Cotton committed to Nebraska in June of 2011, and did not take any other visits.
The son of Barney and Christine Cotton, Sam was born on Jan. 27, 1994. He is a business administration/marketing major and is a four-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll selection. He has volunteered his time with the NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 Event, Uplifting Athletes, Husker Heroes and school and hospital visits. He was named to both the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team and Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2014 for his outreach efforts. His father earned three letters for the Huskers from 1975 to 1978 as both an offensive and defensive lineman.
» Games Started - 5 (1 in 2013, 4 in 2013)
» Receptions - 6 catches (3 in 2013, TD at Minnesota; 3 in 2014, 2 TD)
» Receiving Yards - 63 yards (22 yards in 2013; 41 yards in 2014)