Players

Jeff Otah  

Height: 6-6   Weight: 330   Age: 27

Born: 6/17/1986 Nigeria

College: Pittsburgh

Experience: Season

G

29

GS

29

Draft 2008

Pick No.19

Selected By: Carolina Panthers

Round: 1

Pick (Overall): 19 (19)

Pick Analysis: Otah played only two seasons at Pittsburgh, but many rank him with the elite offensive tackles produced by the school over the last two decades. He is a road grader in the mold of former All-Americans Jimbo Covert (1979-82), Mark May (1977-80), Bill Fralic (1981-84) and Ruben Brown (1991-94), all of whom enjoyed productive NFL careers. Called the "best blocker I've ever coached," by Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt, Otah served as offensive captain for one of college football's best running attacks as a senior.

Otah concentrated mostly on basketball, lettering twice at William Penn High School. As a senior, football coach Bill Cole convinced Otah to compete in football and he started in his only year on the team. Because of a lack of playing experience, he was not recruited coming out of the prep ranks and enrolled at Valley Forge Military Academy in 2004.

At Valley Forge, Otah started 17 consecutive games over two seasons, where he was rated the 26th-best junior college offensive lineman by Scout.com and 31st by Rivals.com. He was a two-time All-Seaboard Conference choice and was selected the league's Most Valuable Player in 2003. He led the team to a pair of conference co-championships and also lettered twice in basketball. He averaged nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds per game during his hoops career at Valley Forge.

Otah enrolled at Pittsburgh and immediately took over the demanding left tackle position in 2006. He started all 12 games, delivering 91 knockdowns with 13 touchdown-resulting blocks. He allowed four sacks and one quarterback pressure while recording one solo tackle and recovering a pair of fumbles.

The winner of the team's Ed Conway Award in 2007, given to the team's most improved player, Otah garnered All-Big East Conference honors as a senior. He produced 101 knockdowns, with 13 of those blocks leading to touchdowns. He finished with an 82% grade for blocking consistency, allowing four pressures and 8 1/2 stops for losses.

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