Honors & Awards
» Tom Novak Award (2018)
» Football Lifter of the Year (2018)
» Third-Team All-Big Ten (2018, Media)
» Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (2018, Coaches)
» Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (Nov. 12, 2018)
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2016)
Devine Ozigbo enjoyed his best season in his final year as a Husker in 2018, earning third-team All-Big Ten honors from the conference media and honorable-mention accolades from the league's coaches. Ozigbo was Nebraska's leading rusher, gaining 1,082 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns. Ozigbo became the first Husker since Ameer Abdullah in 2014 to rush for 1,000 yards, and Ozigbo's 1,082 rushing yards as a senior nearly matched the total from his first three seasons combined (1,114). While becoming the 26th Husker to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, Ozigbo averaged an impressive 7.0 yards per carry, ranking 11th nationally in that category and posting the seventh-highest yards-per-carry average in Nebraska history among players with at least 150 carries. Ozigbo averaged 90.2 rushing yards per game in 2018, and he also set career highs with 23 receptions and 203 receiving yards.
Ozigbo had at least six carries in all 12 games, but he emerged as Nebraska's No. 1 back against Purdue, the first of his nine straight starts to end the season. In his nine games as a starter, Ozigbo averaged 110.2 rushing yards per game and 7.9 yards per carry while scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. He ran for more than 150 yards four times in his nine games as a starer and had five 100-yard rushing games. Ozigbo ended the regular season ranked 12th nationally in rushing yards per carry and 30th nationally in rushing yards.
Ozigbo began his senior season with 14 carries for 60 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown, against Colorado. Ozigbo also caught two passes for 17 yards against the Buffaloes. The next week vs. Troy, Ozigbo ran for 25 yards on nine carries. He earned his first start of the season against Purdue and produced a career-high 170 yards on only 17 carries. Ozigbo also tied his career high with a pair of touchdown runs against the Boilermakers, and his 170 yards were the most by a Husker in a Big Ten Conference game since Abdullah rushed for 225 yards vs. Rutgers in 2014. After adding 29 yards on five carries at No. 16 Wisconsin, Ozigbo had 22 carries for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns at Northwestern. He added another big day against Minnesota, rushing for 152 yards on only 12 carries, including touchdown runs of 40 and 59 yards. Ozigbo only played the first half against Bethune-Cookman in the final game of October, but he ran for 110 yards and one touchdown on only 11 carries. At No. 8 Ohio State, Ozigbo rushed for 86 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries, while catching one pass for 13 yards.
Ozigbo had a career performance against Illinois, earning Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his effort. He rushed for 162 yards against the Illini on only 11 carries, averaging a whopping 14.7 yards per carry. He scored a career-high three touchdowns in the game, including career-long runs of 60 and 66 yards, both of which went for touchdowns. Ozigbo also surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards against Illinois, becoming the 30th Husker to reach the milestone. Ozigbo reached another milestone in the Huskers' win over Michigan State, posting his first career 1,000-yard rushing season after gaining 74 yards on 18 carries against the nation's No. 1 rushing defense. He closed out his career with 50 yards on 10 carries at Iowa, moving him into a tie for 25th on Nebraska's all-time rushing list with 2,196 career yards.
Ozigbo enjoyed his most productive season as a junior, when he was Nebraska’s leading rusher. Ozigbo led the Huskers and set career highs with 129 carries and 493 rushing yards. He added three rushing touchdowns and caught 16 passes – one more than his career total entering the season – for 123 yards. Ozigbo also posted a career-high three 100-yard rushing efforts on the season.
Ozigbo did not play in the season’s first two games but emerged as the Huskers’ leading rusher when starter Tre Bryant was lost for the season after only two games. Ozigbo carried the ball two times for eight yards in his season debut against Northern Illinois before recording three consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts. His streak started in the Big Ten opener against Rutgers, when Ozigbo ran for 101 yards on a career-high 24 carries. The next week at Illinois, he ran for a then-career-high 106 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry on 18 attempts while scoring on a 15-yard touchdown run. His streak continued against ninth-ranked Wisconsin when Ozigbo had 23 carries for a career-high 112 yards. Ozigbo became the first player to rush for 100 yards against the Badgers in 18 games while posting the only 100-yard rushing performance Wisconsin has allowed in conference play over the past three seasons. In addition to his rushing totals, Ozigbo also caught his first four passes of the season against the Badgers, finishing with 18 receiving yards.
Ozigbo was limited to 32 total yards on a combined 19 carries against Ohio State and Purdue, but he contributed by hauling in eight passes for 76 yards in those two contests. At Purdue, Ozigbo set career highs with six catches for 39 yards. He resumed his workhorse role against Northwestern, recording 23 carries for 72 yards while catching two passes for 18 yards. Ozigbo then had 20 carries over the final three games, rushing for 62 combined yards and scoring touchdowns against No. 13 Penn State and Iowa.
Ozigbo was among a group of three players who provided depth behind senior starter Terrell Newby at I-back. Ozigbo played in 11 games, while battling an ankle injury that hampered him during the second half of the year. He made his first career start against Wyoming.
Ozigbo was Nebraska's third-leading rusher with 412 yards on 97 carries, while also rushing for five touchdowns. He topped 40 yards rushing five times during the season, and had double-figure carries in six games, including each of the season's first five games.
Ozigbo opened the year with a career-high 103 yards on 17 carries, with a career-best two touchdowns against Fresno State. In his only career start against Wyoming, he carried 15 times for 44 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 39-yard catch against the Cowboys. Ozigbo was a key to Nebraska's impressive offensive effort in a 35-32 win over Oregon, rushing a career-high 21 times for 95 yards, including a third-quarter touchdown. He added 41 rushing yards on 13 carries at Nothwestern, and 10 carries for 35 yards against Illinois. He also had a 37-yard catch against the Illini, but suffered an ankle injury late in the game.
Ozigbo was limited by the injury the remainder of the regular season, but did have 10 carries for 33 yards and a touchdown at Wisconsin. He had seven carries for 66 yards in the Music City Bowl, incuding a career-long 42-yard run.
Ozigbo made an impact in the backfield as a true freshman. He played in 11 games as one of four backs with more than 200 rushing yards. Ozigbo finished with 38 carries for 209 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 62 yards.
Ozigbo had a breakout game against Illinois in the Big Ten opener, rushing seven times for 70 yards, and a 19-yard touchdown. He also caught a pass in the game. He had three catches for 42 yards at Purdue.
He ran for 33 yards at Rutgers then closed the year with a strong showing in the bowl game. In a win over UCLA, Ozigbo rushed 20 times for 80 yards to help power Nebraska to 326 rushing yards. He had 54 of his rushing yards in the second half. Ozigbo also had a 15-yard reception against the Bruins.
Before Nebraska (Sachse HS)
Ozigbo had a highly successful prep career at Sachse High School in Texas, where he dominated both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield.
Ozigbo played in a prolific offense for Coach Mark Behrens, as the team averaged better than 500 total yards per game, including 321 passing yards per game in 2014. Despite being in a pass-first offense, Ozigbo rushed for 795 yards on 149 carries, while recording four 100-yard rushing games and 15 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 415 yards and four touchdowns, helping Sachse to a 6-4 record. Ozigbo earned first-team All-District 11 honors in the 5A ranks for his outstanding play as a senior.
Ozigbo helped Sachse to an 11-1 record in 2013, before losing in the second round of the 5A Division 1 state playoffs. Ozigbo rushed for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns on 148 carries, while catching 23 passing for 311 yards and two scores. Ozigbo earned a spot on the 2013 all-district team.
Ozigbo first made a strong impact as a sophomore in 2012. He rushed 150 times for 802 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 20 passes, with three touchdown receptions. His play helped his team to an 8-3 record and a trip to the 5A state playoffs.
Ozigbo was ranked among the nation’s top 60 running backs by Rivals.com, 247 Sports and ESPN. Rivals and 247 also listed him among the top 100 overall players in Texas. He originally committed to Iowa State, before choosing the Huskers. He had dozens of offers including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Miami, Minnesota, Utah and Wisconsin to name a few. Ozigbo also participated in track at Sachse, helping the school earn a top-five district finish in 2014.
The son of Dave and Yaiye Ozigbo, Devine was born on Oct. 2, 1996. He earned his bachelor's degree as an advertising and public relations major at Nebraska in December of 2018. He has volunteered with Husker Heroes, Uplifting Athletes and hospital outreach events.