Second team All-OAC defensive lineman and sophomore communication studies major Nigel Chatman died in the hospital Friday morning of injuries sustained in a car accident.
21-year-old Chatman was known on both the football team and the debate team as a fierce competitor who was full of positive energy. After telling stories of when Chatman was hard on himself in practice, defensive line coach Dalton Jarvis said, “That competitiveness carried over into life, where he always wanted to improve and just be the best he could. His energy and livelihood that he brought to a meeting room for film, or to a long bus ride, will never be replaced.”
Susan Millsap, a communication department faculty member and the adviser for Otterbein’s debate team, said Chatman’s mentality in debate was “one of enjoying it, playing a game, and finding the way to win.”
Once the Chatman family told the Cardinals to move forward with Saturday’s season opener at Ohio Wesleyan University, both teams agreed to place his jersey on the defensive line and kneel on the first play.
After Otterbein’s 22-10 loss to Ohio Wesleyan, in the game dedicated to Chatman, safety and team captain Niall Lewison said, “[I] wish we could have done better for him, but this isn't just one game for Nigel. It’s the rest of our season and the rest of our lives.”
Chatman’s funeral arrangements were announced on Wednesday, Sept. 11, and are here.