99 Warriors: No. 35, All-American and National Champion Fullback Jim Otis

By Dan Hope on July 28, 2018 at 8:05 am
Jim Otis

We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.

No. 35 Jim Otis

In three excellent seasons as Ohio State's starting fullback, Jim Otis established himself as one of the Buckeyes' all-time greats.

FB Jim Otis

b. April 29, 1948 (Celina, Ohio)

  • National Champion (1968)
  • First-Team All-American (1969)
  • Team MVP (1969)
  • Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame (1996)

One of only three players in Ohio State history to lead the Buckeyes in rushing in three or more straight seasons (Archie Griffin and Bob Ferguson being the others), Otis accomplished the feat from 1967 to 1969, rushing for 2,542 yards and 34 touchdowns over the course of those three seasons.

In 1968, Otis rushed for 985 yards and 10 touchdowns to help lead Ohio State to a 10-0 season and a national championship. In 1969, Otis rushed for 1,027 yards and nine touchdowns to earn first-team All-American and team MVP honors, and finished seventh in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

The New Orleans Saints selected Otis in the ninth round of the 1970 NFL draft. Otis went on to play in the NFL for nine seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 1975 after a 1,076-yard season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Otis was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996, and he's currently among the players nominated for potential induction into the College Football Hall of Fame

Photo: Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

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