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#98 Zach Potter
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 280
Year: Senior
City/State: Omaha, Neb.
High School: Creighton Prep

Honors & Awards

  • 2008 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Associated Press, Coaches)
  • 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List
  • 2008 Ted Hendricks Award Watch List
  • 2007 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches)
  • Two-Time Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2007, 2008)
  • 2006 First-Team Academic All-Big 12
  • Nebraska Season Record for Blocked Kicks by a Defensive End (3, 2008)
  • Nebraska Career Record for Blocked Kicks by a Defensive End (5)
  • Three-Time Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor Roll (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Three-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll (2005, 2007, 2008)

2008 (Senior)
Defensive end Zach Potter was a key part of a Nebraska defensive line that became the strength of a much-improved 2008 Cornhusker defense. The 2008 campaign concluded a highly productive career by the Omaha native who made an impact in each of his four seasons.

In his second season as a starter in 2008, Potter not only played at a high level on the defensive front but he was also a team leader and was selected as one of four team captains. The 6-7, 280-pound Potter finished the year second on the team in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (5.5) and ranked near the top of the Big 12 charts in both of those categories among defensive linemen.

Overall, Potter made 47 tackles, had interceptions against San Jose State and Kansas and also broke up seven passes at the line of scrimmage, tying the Nebraska position record. Three of those passes were intercepted by another Blackshirt defender, including two interception returns for scores by nose tackle Ndamukong Suh. Potter continued to be a factor on special teams, blocking three opponent kicks to give him five career blocked kicks. The three blocked kicks tied a season record for defensive linemen. Potter’s five career blocked kicks is a position record.

Potter was honored for his work as he was an honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection. His play helped a Nebraska defense that reduced its yards per game allowed by more than 125 yards from the 2007 season and finished second in the Big 12 in total defense. Nebraska also recorded 35 sacks on the season, nearly tripling its total from the previous season. In the classroom, Potter earned second-team academic All-Big 12 honors, the third straight season he has been honored by the conference.

He added his second sack of the year against New Mexico State and also recorded a blocked field goal in the first quarter, setting the tone in NU’s 38-7 win. Potter made six tackles each against Virginia Tech and Missouri, including two tackles for loss in each game. At Texas Tech, Potter blocked a Red Raider extra-point in overtime for his second block of the season.

2007 (Junior)
Potter faced the tall task of replacing first-round NFL Draft pick Adam Carriker as Nebraska’s starter at base end. Potter quickly showed his ability to handle a starting role and played in all 12 games with 11 starts. He finished with 45 tackles, the most among defensive linemen, while his 11 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks were second on the team.

Potter had five games with five or more tackles, including a career-high six against both USC and Oklahoma State. Potter had five tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in NU’s win at Wake Forest. Despite not starting because of an ankle injury, Potter closed non-league play with a strong showing against Ball State, finishing with four tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a fumble caused and a pair of hurries.

He had at least five tackles in a three-game stretch capped by a six-tackle effort against OSU when he also had a pass breakup. Potter added four tackles, a tackle for loss and his first career interception at Texas.

2006 (Sophomore)
Potter played in 13 games during his sophomore season, including reserve time at defensive end, as well as special teams action. He made three tackles, with one stop each against Nicholls State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Potter was also a regular on both NU’s field goal/PAT and field goal/PAT block units.

2005 (Freshman)
Potter played in all 12 games as a true freshman, seeing limited action on the defensive line, including a tackle against Wake Forest. He was a major contributor on special teams, and literally had a hand in a pair of victories. He blocked a field goal in NU’s 7-6 win over Pittsburgh, before blocking a Kansas State PAT in NU’s 27-25 win. As a team, Nebraska blocked seven kicks on the season.

Before Nebraska (Creighton Prep HS)
Potter had a standout career at Creighton Prep, where he helped the Junior Jays to the Class A state title as a senior. Potter was a two-way standout, starring at tight end and defensive end for Head Coach Tom Jaworski. In helping the Junior Jays to a 12-1 record in 2004, Potter was the honorary captain of both the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska offense and the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State defense. Potter made 97 tackles, including 48 solo stops and six sacks. Offensively, he caught 24 passes for 501 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Potter also had outstanding numbers as a junior, catching 14 passes for better than 300 yards, including four touchdowns. He made 61 tackles, with 10 sacks and 11 pass breakups. His performance earned Potter first-team all-state honors.

Potter also starred in basketball, averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds per game as a center, and led the Junior Jays to the Class A state title game as a senior. He was a first-team all-state selection by both of the state's major newspapers. His all-around athletic performance earned him co-Boys High School Athlete-of-the-Year honors from the Lincoln Journal Star. Potter won the Bert Render Award-winner as the state’s top male athlete from the B’Nai B’rith organization. Potter also considered Notre Dame and Kansas State before selecting Nebraska.

Personal
Potter is the son of Dave Potter and Karen Sanden, and his stepmother is Lynne Potter. Zach was born on May 4, 1986, and he is a five-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll pick. Potter is majoring in communication studies and is on track to complete his degree in May of 2009. Potter has volunteered his time as a speaker during the Fall Break Tour of Excellence, American Education Week and School is Cool Week, as well as with the Attention Center for Youth.

Potter's Career Statistics

.

.

Tackles

.

.

Fum.

.

.

.

QB

Year

G/S

UT

AT

TT

TFL

Sacks

C-R

BK

PBU

PI

Hry.

2005 12/0 0 1 1 0-0 0 0-0 2 0 0 0

2006

13/0

2

1

3

0-0

0

0-0

0

0

0

0

2007

12/11

26

19

45

11-23

2.5-10

1-1

0

1

1

5

2008 13/13 14 33 47 16-54 5.5-44 1-0 3 7 2 6

Totals

50/24

42

54

96

28-77

8.0-54

2-1

5

8

3

11

Single-Game Highs
Tackles–6, five times, including three times 2008
Solo Tackles–4 vs. Oklahoma State, 2007
Tackles for Loss–2, six times, including three in 2008
Sacks-1.5 vs. Kansas, 2008

First National Bank
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