Ben Cotton: A hero both on the field and as a community service volunteer.
By Randy York
Rex Burkhead and Ben Cotton lead the 21-member 2013 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team that will be honored about 20 minutes before Nebraska’s annual Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium Saturday. Burkhead, a running back, and Cotton, a tight end, have won four consecutive Berringer Awards. Joining them are four teammates who also have completed their eligibility – wide receivers Taylor Dixon and Steven Osborne, tight end Kyler Reed and offensive lineman Seung Hoon Choi. All six display a similar love and dedication for volunteering in the community through Nebraska’s nationally recognized Life Skills program.
The same is true for 15 more current Huskers who will receive Berringer Citizenship honors – senior quarterback Ron Kellogg III, redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Rose, senior cornerback Ciante Evans, senior wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, senior fullback C.J. Zimmerer, sophomore running back Imani Cross, senior tight end Jake Long, redshirt freshman tight end Trey Foster, redshirt freshman wide receiver Lane Hovey, junior wide receiver Tyler Evans, junior defensive tackle Jay Guy, sophomore offensive lineman Chris Long and senior offensive linemen Brandon Chapek, Spencer Long and Jeremiah Sirles.
The Brook Berringer Citizenship award is named in honor of the former Husker quarterback who died in a plane crash in 1996 after helping lead Nebraska to back-to-back national titles in ’94 and ‘95. Berringer’s statue with Tom Osborne is located in front of Memorial Stadium’s north entrance. Osborne, Nebraska’s Athletic Director Emeritus and Berringer’s coach, will help present the 2013 honorees. Brook’s sisters, Drue and Nicole, and other members of the Berringer family, will assist with the presentation.
Immediately after the Berringer presentation, N-Club President Matt Vrzal and other former Husker lettermen will recognize 21 first-time letterwinners, including Berringer winners Kellogg, Cross and Dixon who are also Berringer winners as well. Other Huskers being recognized for a first-year letter are cornerbacks Mohammed Seisay, Charles Jackson and Daniel Davie, wide receivers Taariq Allen and Sam Burtch, fullback Mike Marrow, defensive back Austin Williams, fullback Andy Janovich, linebacker David Santos, offensive linemen Mark Pelini, Zach Sterup and Ryne Reeves and defensive tackles Brodrick Nickens and Kevin Williams. Graduating seniors being recognized for their first letters include linebackers Micah Kreikemeier and Matt Manninger, defensive tackle Kenny Anderson, offensive lineman Nick Ash and tight end Conor McDermott.
McDermott also will be presented the seventh annual Cletus Fischer Endowed Scholarship, presented annually to a Nebraska football player who has 1) demonstrated a high level of athletic and academic achievement; 2) has completed both his academic eligibility and undergraduate studies; and 3) has plans to attend graduate school. McDermott was a key contributor at tight end last season and was a 2012 Academic All-Big Ten selection.
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