2017-07-27 / Sports

LaSalle Graduate Joe Ostman Named to NCAA Wuerffel Award Watch List


Joe Ostman (Photograph provided by Ostman family) Joe Ostman (Photograph provided by Ostman family) Joe Ostman, a senior at Central Michigan University and a 2013 graduate of LaSalle High School, has been named to the NCAA’s Wuerffel Award Watch list for college football. Prior to each new football season, the NCAA releases a list of names that are considered to be favorites for each of its major awards. Ostman was one of 109 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, formerly Division I-A) players to be named to the watch list. The Wuerffel Award is known as college football’s premier award for community service. It will be presented at the end of the season in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to the student-athlete who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Ostman was named to the list due, in part to his volunteer work for Special Olympics, and at numerous high school and youth football camps in Michigan. He is studying marketing and maintains a 3.66 grade point average. He is the son of Joe and Angie Ostman of Mackinaw City. He says he was honored and humbled by the recognition.

“It’s definitely something I wasn’t expecting,” said Ostman. “I don’t do those things to be recognized. For the kids, it’s a lot more important than you realize. They love it when you show up to their camp in uniform.”

The award is named for Danny Wuerffel, former NFL and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from the University of Florida. Reporters, college football notables, former winners, and coaches con- tribute to the voting for the award. The winner will be announced on December 5.

Ostman is entering his senior season for the Chippewas. Last year, he was named to the All Mid- American Conference (MAC) Second Team and shared CMU’s 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Award with Amari Coleman. He led the Chippewas, ranked second in the MAC and 34th nationally with nine sacks, helping CMU to earn a birth in the Miami Beach Bowl against Tulsa. He finished the season with 69 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and recovered two.

In 2013, Ostman was the only true freshman to see playing time, playing in every game at defensive end and special teams. He started every game in 2014, earning Third Team All Mid-American Conference and Academic All-Conference honors, and was named a MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete. Ostman missed all but three games in 2015 due to injury and received a medical redshirt, allowing him one more year of eligibility. Ostman’s dream is to hear his name called at next year’s NFL draft, but he is focused on this season and doing everything he can to help the Chippewas have a successful season.

“We’re working hard and getting ready for the season,” he said. “Camp opens up soon and we’re going to give it all we have. It’s been my dream to make it to the NFL, but at the same time that’s not going to be my measure of success. If it happens, it will be a blessing. If it doesn’t, I’ll know I’ve given everything I have.”

Ostman and fellow LaSalle alumnus Gage Kreski will take the field together as significant parts of CMU’s team. In high school, Kreski was a freshman during Ostman’s senior year and the two did not play much together. Kreski was named CMU’s scout team player of the year last year and is set to see significant playing time as a redshirt freshman this year.

Central Michigan opens its 2017 season Thursday, August 31, at home against Rhode Island.

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