Honors & Awards
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.
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)
Before Nebraska (Ames HS)
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.
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.