Zion-Benton senior Jacob Ottersen is shown just after signing his letter of intent to play football at Taylor University in Indiana. Sitting with him are his parents, Mark and Diane. Standing are Z-B football coach Bob Strickland (right) and Taylor University head coach Ron Korfmacher. | SPECIAL TO SUN-TIMES MEDIA
MID-STATES FB ASSOCIATION
Saint Francis (Indiana)
Saint Xavier (Chicago)
Siena Heights (Michigan)
Taylor (Upland, Ind.)
Grand View (Iowa)
Olivet Nazarene (Bourbonnais, Ill.)
St. Ambrose (Iowa)
St. Francis (Joliet)
Trinity International (Bannockburn)
William Penn (Iowa)
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:37AM
Back in the day — that is, before the Digital Generation — it used to be that quality high school student-athletes would slip through the collegiate cracks, either because of the location of the high school or because of the school’s lack of success on the field of play.
But those days are gone forever, and the rule of thumb in 2013 is simple: If you can play, college coaches are going to know it.
So it is with Zion-Benton High School senior football player Jacob Ottersen.
Though the Zee-Bees couldn’t quite get it together well enough to make high-profile playoff appearances during Jacob’s varsity career, Zion-Benton coach Bob Strickland knew his lineman could play and, quite obviously, so did college football coaches.
As a result, last week, Jacob signed his letter of intent to play football — and compete in track — at Taylor University in Indiana.
The school is located in the middle of the state, and it’s a Christian-based liberal arts school that competes at the NAIA level. The Trojans were a middle-of-the-pack (4-6 record) football team last fall and plays in the Mid-States Football Association.
This spring, Jacobs will be throwing the shot and discus for Zion-Benton’s track team, and he also will be doing that at Taylor. He received scholarship funds to compete in both sports.