CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Nebraska tackle Ndamukong
Suh on Monday night claimed the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy,
which annually is awarded to the best defensive player in college
(Photo: Ron Deshaies)
Suh became the 17th winner of the award as voted upon by the
Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and sponsored by
the Charlotte Touchdown Club. He's the first Nebraska player to
win the award.
"This was definitely a big surprise," Suh said at tonight's presentation
banquet. "I want to thank all the other guys here. They are all
great players. And I would like to thank the Bronko Nagurski family
as well as the (Nebraska) coaches, Bo Pelini and his staff and my
parents, This is a great honor. I am speechless. I was definitely
not planning on winning this award."
But Pelini, also in attendance, was not surprised, saying, "I
definitely think you picked the right man. He is a tremendous football
player and a great individual."
Suh a 6-4, 300-pound senior from Portland, Ore., is considered
a top NFL Draft prospect and will receive his degree in construction
management. He is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, the Walter
Camp Award, the Outland Trophy, the Bednarik Award, the Rotary Lombardi
Award and the Lott Trophy. The winner of the 2009 Outland Trophy,
presented to the nation's best interior lineman by the FWAA, will
be announced Thursday night on "The Home Depot ESPNU College Football
Awards Show" live on ESPN.
During the 2009 regular season Suh led Nebraska in tackles with
50 unassisted and 32 assisted. He had 23 tackles for losses (12
sacks for 77 yards in losses), 10 pass breakups, 26 quarterback
hurries, one interception, one forced fumble and three blocked kicks.
In the 13-12 loss to Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game this
past Saturday, Suh was credited with 4.5 sacks of Longhorns quarterback
Colt McCoy, seven total tackles for loss, a career-high 12 tackles
and two quarterback hurries.
"He's just a tremendous football player," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini
said. "He finds a way within our defense to make plays, he gets
it understands the game. He can just beat you in a lot of different
ways. He is very instinctive for a defensive lineman which is very
Suh's sack of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first
quarter of the Cornhuskers' 27-12 victory over the Tigers in early
October possibly changed the course of the Big 12 North season.
Gabbert suffered and ankle injury on the play. Although he continued
to play, his mobility was hampered and Suh intercepted a Gabbert
pass in the fourth quarter that sparked the come-from-behind win.
Suh's efforts certainly mirror the person for whom the trophy
is named. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is given in memory of the legendary
Nagurski, a former All-American lineman at Minnesota (1927-29) and
star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s.
"When you look at Suh, you see a player who can dominate a game,"
Texas coach Mack Brown said. "That defensive front is as good in
the country. He is as good as any player in America. He is unbelievable.
We have enjoyed watching him play. You look at their film and he
is amazing player. You don't expect that someone, so big and so
fast, to be over 300 pounds and be as fast as he is, it is amazing."
The four other 2009 Nagurski Trophy finalists were Iowa linebacker
Pat Angerer, Tennessee back Eric Berry, Alabama tackle Terrence
Cody and TCU end Jerry Hughes. Hughes was also a finalist in 2008.
Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded
in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and
professional football in the Charlotte, N.C. region. The club's
activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding
citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area
athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco
(704-347-2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit
organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,100 men and women
across North America who cover college football for a living. The
membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as
well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The
FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major
awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National
College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded
in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to
protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige
of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism
and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards
and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information,
visit the association's official Web site, ncfaa.org.
For more information on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the FWAA,
contact FWAA executive director Steve Richardson (972-713-6198