Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh
Ndamukong Suh

Suh in the 2011 NFL season.
No. 90     Detroit Lions
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: January 6, 1987 (1987-01-06) (age 24)
Place of birth: Portland, Oregon
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 307 lb (139 kg)
Career information
College: Nebraska
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Debuted in 2010 for the Detroit Lions
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2011
Tackles     89
Sacks     13.0
Forced Fumbles     1
Interceptions     1
Touchdowns     1
Stats at NFL.com

Ndamukong Suh (pronounced /ɛnˈdɑːməkɨn ˈsuː/) (born January 6, 1987) is an American football defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Lions 2nd overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Nebraska.

As a senior in college, Suh became one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history. He won numerous awards including the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. He was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing fourth.[1]


Early years

Suh attended Grant High School in Portland, Oregon where he earned Parade All-America honors and was voted the 2004 Portland Interscholastic League Defensive Player of the Year and First team all state Class 4A Defensive.

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Suh was ranked sixth among defensive tackle prospects in the nation.[2]

College career

Ndamukong Suh playing in the 2009 Holiday Bowl.

As a true freshman at Nebraska in 2005, Suh played in the first two games and had an assisted tackle against Wake Forest before missing the remainder of the season after undergoing knee surgery. He received a medical redshirt.

In 2006, Suh played in all 14 games as a backup defensive lineman and earned freshman All-Big 12 honors from The Sporting News. Despite coming off the bench, he finished the year with 19 total tackles, and ranked among the team leaders in tackles for loss (8) and quarterback sacks (3½). In his sophomore season, Suh started in 11 of the Cornhuskers' 12 games, and recorded 34 total tackles on the season.

As a junior in 2008, Suh recorded a team-high 76 tackles, 7½ sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns) and a touchdown reception while playing fullback. He became the first Nebraska defensive lineman to lead the team in tackles since 1973. Suh earned First-team All-Big 12 honors in 2008, the first Nebraska interior defensive lineman to earn those honors since Steve Warren in 1999.

In 2009, Suh registered 85 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, 24 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, three blocked kicks, and one interception. Suh had 12 tackles (seven for losses, a school single-game record) and 4½ sacks in a 13–12 loss to the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game, for which he received game MVP honors. He helped Huskers defense rank first nationally in scoring defense (10.4 ppg), tied for second in total sacks (44), first in pass efficiency defense (87.3), seventh in total defense (272.0 ypg), ninth in rushing defense (93.1 ypg) and 18th in passing defense (178.9 ypg). He also played all four quarters versus Arizona in the 2009 Holiday Bowl, helping Nebraska record the first shutout in the Holiday Bowl's 32-year history, as well as the first shutout in school bowl history.[3] He was a consensus First-team All-American and earned consensus First-team All-Big 12 honors and was the Associated Press National Player of the Year, Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Defensive Lineman of the Year, and a Heisman Trophy finalist.

College awards

On December 3, 2009, Suh was named as one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Award. On November 24, 2009, Suh was named one of three finalists for the 2009 Outland Trophy, alongside Mike Iupati and Russell Okung.[4] On November 10, Suh was selected one of four finalists for the 2009 Lombardi Award, the first Cornhusker to receive this honor since Dominic Raiola in 2000.[5] In October 2009, Suh was named to The Sporting News and CBS Sports midseason All-American team.[6][7] Suh began season at No. 3 on Rivals.com′s preseason defensive tackle power ranking.[8] He was also named to the 2009 Outland Trophy watch list.[9]

On December 7, 2009, Suh was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.[10] Later that evening, Suh was named the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner as the top defensive player in the nation.[11] CBS Sportsline also named Suh their Defensive Player of the Year. The Touchdown Club of Columbus named Suh the winner of the Bill Willis Trophy on December 9, 2009.[12] That same evening Suh won the Lombardi Award for the top collegiate lineman or linebacker.[13] On December 11, at the ESPN College Football Awards show, Suh was selected as the winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player and took home the Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman.[14] Suh finished fourth in the Heisman race, accumulating 815 points, which is the highest total by a fourth-place finisher for the Heisman in its history.[15] He was also one of four unanimous selections to the AP First-team All-America in 2009.[16] Suh was named the 2009 AP Player of Year, becoming the first defensive player to receive the award in its history.[17]

Career statistics

2005 Nebraska 2 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006 Nebraska 14 0 19 12 7 8 0 1 1 0 2 0 0
2007 Nebraska 12 11 34 22 12 6 1 2 0 0 1 4 1 0
2008 Nebraska 13 13 76 39 37 19 3 2 1 0 7 2 2
2009 Nebraska 14 14 85 52 33 24 12 10 1 1 0 28 3 0
Career Totals 54 38 214 125 89 57 24 15 4 3 1 41 6 2

Professional career

2010 NFL Draft

Suh was widely considered to be one of the best prospects available in the draft,[18][19][20][21][22] ESPN.com's draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. describes Suh as "maybe the most dominating defensive tackle I've seen in 32 years" and projected him to go #1 overall to the St. Louis Rams for a short time before it became evident the Rams would select Sam Bradford. He then correctly projected Suh to be drafted by the Detroit Lions.[23] Suh was seen as an ideal fit at either defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense or as a defensive end in a 3-4 NFL defense.[24]

To prepare for the NFL Draft (and contract negotiations) Suh signed with Maximum Sports Management, and agent Roosevelt Barnes, who would serve as Suh's lead agent. This caused moderate concern for many teams who were hoping to draft him, as this was the same agent who represented Michael Crabtree. Crabtree was the longest 2009 NFL Draft 1st round contract hold out, waiting over six weeks into the NFL season before signing with the San Francisco 49ers. He even threatened to re-enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

For off the field marketing activities, Suh signed with The Agency Sports Management & Marketing,[25] where Russ Spielman will serve as lead agent. At the NFL Combine, Suh bench pressed 225 lb 32 times and had a 35½ inch vertical leap, the highest for a defensive tackle since Al Lucas (36 in) in 2000. According to Barnes: "He is not a hard worker; he is a relentless worker." [26]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 3⅞ in 307 lb 33½ in 10¼ in 4.98 s 1.69 s 2.81 s 4.44 s 7.21 s 35½ in 8 ft 9 in 32 rep
All values from NFL Combine[27]

Detroit Lions

Suh was selected second overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. On August 3, Suh agreed to a five-year, $68 million contract with $40 million guaranteed.[28] On September 12, Suh had his first sack against Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.[29] On October 10, during a game against the St. Louis Rams, he recorded his first career interception off of Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.[30] Suh scored his first touchdown of his NFL career against the Washington Redskins on October 31, 2010, on a recovery of a Rex Grossman fumble.

After an injury to Lions kicker Jason Hanson, the Lions had Suh attempt an extra point on November 7, 2010, against the New York Jets. However, Suh missed the extra point when the ball hit the right upright.[31]

For the 2010 season, Suh led the Lions, all rookies, and all defensive tackles in sacks with 10.[32] He was picked as a starter for the Pro Bowl, becoming the first Lions rookie since Barry Sanders to be picked as a Pro Bowl starter.[33] He missed the game, however, due to shoulder surgery.[34] On January 25, 2011, Suh was named to the All-Pro Team.[35] He was also named the Sporting News Rookie of the Year,[36] the Pro Football Weekly and Pro Football Writers of America Rookie of the Year,[37] the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year,[38] and the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.[39]

Suh has been criticized in the media and by other players for his aggressive style of play and has been fined a total of $42,500 by the league for three violations in the first year-and-a-half of his career. In a poll of fellow players conducted by the Sporting News, Suh was named “the dirtiest player” in the NFL.[40]


Suh’s mother, Bernadette (née Lennon) Suh, an elementary school teacher, was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and is a graduate of Southern Oregon University. His father, Michael Suh, is from Cameroon and played semi-pro soccer in Germany while working as a machinist. They met and married in Portland, Oregon in 1982, after Michael Suh was admitted to a Portland trade school.[41] Although his father is only 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), Suh's grandfather, also named Ndamukong Suh, stood 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m).[42] In the Ngemba language of Cameroon, Ndamukong means "House of Spears."[43]

Suh has three sisters; he is the second oldest of the children.[44] His older sister, Odette Lennon Ngum Suh, played soccer collegiately at Mississippi State University and is currently a midfielder on the Cameroon women's national football team.[41]

Donation and endowment

On April 17, at the annual Husker Spring Game, Suh announced a $2.6 million donation to the University of Nebraska.[45] Two million dollars of his gift will go to Nebraska Athletics for its Strength and Conditioning Program, and remaining $600,000 will create an endowed scholarship for the UNL College of Engineering, from which he graduated in 2009 with a degree in Construction Management[2]. His gift is the largest single charitable contribution by any former player, and occurred before Suh was taken with the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.


Before Suh was even drafted by an NFL team, he signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[46] Suh has also signed endorsement deals with Subway,[47][48] Dick's Sporting Goods,[48][49] Omaha Steaks,[48][50] and Chrysler.[48]


  1. ^ Merrill, Elizabeth (2010-03-24). "There's no stopping the Suh express". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/news/story?id=5018960. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Rivals.com Defensive tackles 2005". Rivals.com. 2005-01-18. http://rivals100.rivals.com/viewrank.asp?ra_key=879. 
  3. ^ "Huskers harass Cats in first Holiday Bowl shutout". http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recap?gid=200912300023. 
  4. ^ Griffin, Tom (November 24, 2009). "Okung, Suh named Outland Trophy finalists". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/14004/okung-suh-named-outland-trophy-finalists. 
  5. ^ "Suh finalist for Lombardi Award". Grand Island Independent. November 10, 2009. http://www.theindependent.com/articles/2009/11/10/sports/huskers_hq/doc4afa480414670088679799.txt. 
  6. ^ "SN's midseason All-Americans: Defense". Sporting News. October 20, 2009. http://www.sportingnews.com/college-football/article/2009-10-20/sns-midseason-all-americans-defense. 
  7. ^ "CBSSports.com 2009 Midseason All-America Team". CBS Sports. October 22, 2009. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/12399036. 
  8. ^ Buchanan, Olin; Dienhart, Tom; Fox, David; Huguenin, Mike; Megargee, Steve (August 24, 2009). "Preseason defensive tackle power rankings". Rivals.com. http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=978954. 
  9. ^ Richardson, Steve (August 11, 2009). 2009 Outland Trophy Watch List Announced. Football Writers Association of America. http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/news/2009/outland090811.html. 
  10. ^ "McCoy among five finalists for Heisman". ESPN.com. December 7, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4723007. 
  11. ^ "Nebraska DT Suh wins Bronko Nagurski". Rocky Mount Telegram. December 8, 2009. http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/state/nebraska-dt-suh-wins-bronko-nagurski-trophy-1004000.html. Retrieved December 8, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ "TDC Announces 2009 Football Awards". http://www.touchdownclubofcolumbus.com/News.htm. 
  13. ^ "Suh honored as nation's top lineman". ESPN. December 10, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4729927. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Texas quarterback Colt McCoy repeats as Walter Camp winner". ESPN. 2009-12-10. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4732583. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  15. ^ "Suh places fourth at Heisman ceremony". http://www.huskerextra.com/articles/2009/12/12/football/doc4b244b2d36575206603029.txt. 
  16. ^ "Ingram headlines AP All-America team". http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4745029. 
  17. ^ "Suh edges Gerhart for AP honor". ESPN. December 22, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4764843. Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  18. ^ Cooney, Frank (May 11, 2009). "Who's next? Looking ahead to the best of the 2010 draft class". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2009-05-05-2010-draft-preview_N.htm. 
  19. ^ Prisco, Pete (April 27, 2009). "Prisco's 2010 draft preview: QB will land No. 1 spot". CBSSports.com. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/11684517. 
  20. ^ Rang, Rob (July 10, 2009). "Top 32 seniors: Top heavy with the heftier prospects". NFLDraftScout.com. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/11942391. 
  21. ^ Brooks, Bucky (September 3, 2009). "OSU's Okung top prospect, Texas' McCoy top QB for next year's draft". NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000d5d81032985&template=without-video-with-comments&confirm=true#recommend. 
  22. ^ Pauline, Tony (October 22, 2009). "2010 NFL Draft: Top 50 prospects". SI.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/football/nfl/10/21/draft.prospects/index.html. 
  23. ^ Kiper, Mel, Jr. (January 20, 2010). "DT Ndamukong Suh tops the first 2010 NFL mock draft". ESPN. http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/insider/news/story?id=4841432. 
  24. ^ "Ndamukong Suh". NFLDraftScout.com. October 31, 2009. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/563145. 
  25. ^ The Agency Sports Management & Marketing
  26. ^ Mullen, Liz (January 27, 2010). "Maximum Sports Signs Projected No. 1 Pick Suh For Contract Work". Sports Business Daily (Street and Smith). http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/136550. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Ndamukong Suh Combine Profile". NFL.com. March 4, 2010. http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/ndamukong-suh?id=496861. 
  28. ^ Detroit Lions Sign No. 2 Overall Draft Pick Ndamukong Suh to 5-Year Deal Bloomberg August 4, 2010
  29. ^ Wojnowski, Bob (September 16, 2010). "Lions defensive line must growl now". The Detroit News. http://www.detnews.com/article/20100916/OPINION03/9160367/Lions-defensive-line-must-growl-now. 
  30. ^ Fentress, Aaron (October 12, 2010). "Ndamukong Suh's interception adds to Detroit Lions' 44-6 rout of St. Louis". The Oregonian. http://blog.oregonlive.com/nfl/2010/10/nfl_local_ties_week_5_suhs_pic.html. 
  31. ^ "New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions - Recap". ESPN.com. November 7, 2010. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=301107008. 
  32. ^ "NFL.com Rookie of the Week". Suh earns 2010 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/partner/story?id=09000d5d81d7e350. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ Birkett, Dave; Monarrez, Carlos (January 5, 2011). "Lions' Martin Mayhew: Ndamukong Suh will have surgery, miss Pro Bowl". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20110105/SPORTS01/110105074/Lions-Martin-Mayhew-Ndamukong-Suh-will-surgery-miss-Pro-Bowl. 
  35. ^ Twentyman, Tim (January 25, 2011). "Ndamukong Suh named to NFL All-Pro team". The Detroit News. http://www.detnews.com/article/20110125/SPORTS0101/101250333/Ndamukong-Suh-named-to-NFL-All-Pro-team. 
  36. ^ Jahnke, James (January 13, 2011). "Lions' Ndamukong Suh wins rookie of the year award". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20110113/SPORTS01/110113069/Lions-Ndamukong-Suh-wins-rookie-year-award. 
  37. ^ Birkett, Dave (January 18, 2011). "Lions' Ndamukong Suh: Another rookie of the year". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20110118/SPORTS01/110118048//1049/sports01. 
  38. ^ Wywrot, Chrissie (February 3, 2011). "Suh Voted 2010 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year". detroitlions.com. http://www.detroitlions.com/news/article-1/Suh-Voted-2010-Pepsi-NFL-Rookie-of-the-Year/dd01fe65-e050-4c28-ac01-d7e3509ede29. 
  39. ^ Kowalski, Tom (February 4, 2011). "Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh wins AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award". MLive.com. http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2011/02/detroit_lions_ndamukong_suh_wi_1.html. 
  40. ^ http://www.foxsportsdetroit.com/11/08/11/Suh-voted-dirtiest-player-by-his-peers/landing_lions.html?blockID=599388&feedID=3862 Suh voted 'dirtiest player' by his peers
  41. ^ a b "Suh's roots trace back to Ashland, SOU". http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091212/SPORTS/912120322. 
  42. ^ Crossman, Matt (March 1, 2010). "The Legend of Ndamukong Suh". Sporting News. http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201003/1981685421.html. 
  43. ^ Hairopoulos, Kate (December 4, 2009). "At 6-4, 300 pounds, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh is a big name in defense". Dallas Morning News. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/colleges/topstories/stories/DN-nebraskalede_04spo.ART.State.Edition2.518d2ab.html. 
  44. ^ "Ndamukong Suh Plans on Being Staple of NU Football". The Husker Blog. July 28, 2009. http://thehuskerblog.com/2009/07/28/ndamukong-suh-plans-on-being-staple-of-nu-football/. 
  45. ^ "Ndamukong Suh to Donate $2.6 Million to the University of Nebraska". April 18, 2010. http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=204930543. 
  46. ^ Canty, Collen (February, 5, 2010). "Nike Signs Projected Top Pick Ndamukong Suh to Endorsement Deal". NESN. http://www.nesn.com/2010/02/nike-signs-projected-top-pick-ndamukong-suh-to-endorsement-deal.html. 
  47. ^ Dickens, Chris (April 21, 2011). "Subway sign projected NFL pick to endorsement deal". SportsPro Media. http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/subway_sign_projected_nfl_draft_pick_to_endorsement_deal/?utm_source=Feed&utm_campaign=General&utm_medium=rss. 
  48. ^ a b c d Jahnke, James (May 4, 2011). "Video: Ndamukong Suh's new Chrysler commercial". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20110504/SPORTS01/110504034/Video-Ndamukong-Suh-s-new-Chrysler-commercial. 
  49. ^ Yullie, Sean (July 20, 2010). "Video: Ndamukong Suh Hunts Quarterbacks in New Commercial". Pride of Detroit. http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2010/7/20/1578629/video-ndamukong-suh-hunts. 
  50. ^ Jones, Emmitt. "Ndamukong Suh, the new spokesperson for Omaha Steaks". Sports Business Digest. http://sportsbusinessdigest.com/ndamukong-suh-the-new-spokesperson-for-omaha-steaks/. 

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