Honors & Awards
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2012; Spring 2013)
Wyoming: Didn’t play in the season opener. Southern Miss: Didn’t play against the Golden Eagles. UCLA: Made his Husker debut against the Bruins, but didn’t record a reception. SDSU: Saw time off the bench against the Jackrabbits. Illinois: Recorded his first career catch against the Illini, a 17-yard catch. Purdue: Made his first career start in the 44-7 win... caught one pass for two yards. Minnesota: Caught a three-yard pass in the third quarter for his first career touchdown. Northwestern: Saw time off the bench, but didn’t record a catch. Michigan: Saw time off the bench, but didn’t record a catch. Michigan State: Saw time off the bench, but didn’t record a catch.
Redshirt freshman Sam Cotton enters the 2013 season looking to follow in his older brother Ben’s shoes and become a four-year contributor at tight end for the Huskers. The younger Cotton is one of several talented young tight ends battling for playing time behind senior Jake Long, the only returning tight end with game experience.
The 6-4, 235-pound Cotton has added strength in the Nebraska conditioning program in his first year on campus and was impressive in his work with the Husker scout team. Cotton is also off to a strong start in the classroom, earning a spot on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll each of his first two semesters.
Cotton is joined on the NU roster by his older brother, Jake, a junior offensive guard. Sam’s oldest brother, Ben, completed his eligibility last season, earning four letters at tight end, while his father Barney is NU’s Associate Head Coach.
Sam Cotton redshirted his first season at Nebraska.
Before Nebraska (Southeast HS)
Cotton joined the program as the lone tight end in the 2012 signing class. He is also NU’s only in-state scholarship freshman in 2012. The 6-4, 230-pound Cotton continues a family tradition with the Huskers. His father, Barney, is Nebraska’s offensive line coach and played for the Huskers from 1976 to 1978. Sam’s older brotherJake, is currenlty a member of the Husker team, and his other brother Ben finished his Husker career in 2012. During the 2012 season, the Cottons were the only group of three brothers on an FBS roster. Sam 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 touchdown grabs. He also played defensive line for Coach Ryan Gottula’s team, and made 42 tackles, including 7.5 sacks. Cotton’s efforts as a senior earned him 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.
Cotton also played a key role on both sides of the football during his junior season, when his play 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. Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247 Sports all ranked Cotton among the top four players in the state of Nebraska, and among the top 50 tight ends in the country. In the spring, Cotton participated in track and field for Southeast, competing in shot put and discus. Cotton committed to Nebraska in June of 2011, and did not take any other visits.
Sam Cotton is the son of Barney and Christine Cotton, and he was born on Jan. 27, 1994. He earned spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2012-13.