Suh with the Miami Dolphins in 2015
|No. 93 – Los Angeles Rams|
January 6, 1987 |
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||305 lb (138 kg)|
|High school:||Portland (OR) Grant|
|NFL Draft:||2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2017|
|Player stats at PFR|
Ndamukong Ngwa Suh (/
As a college senior, Suh became one of the most decorated 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, and was recognized as a unanimous All-American.
Suh has been criticized for his aggressive style of play and has been fined eight times through 2014 for a total of $255,375 by the NFL, with seven for player-safety violations, and suspended once (for two games), resulting in the loss of an additional $165,294 in pay. Despite issues with sportsmanship, Suh is recognized as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. In 2015, Suh was named the 24th best player in the NFL, while being the sixth highest ranked defensive player. He has won numerous awards and accolades, having been named the Defensive Rookie of the Year, while being selected to four Pro Bowls in his first five seasons, and having been named an All Pro six times. Four times to the All Pro First team, including his rookie year, and twice to the All Pro Second team. In 2015, Suh became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, having signed a six-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, worth in excess of $114 million, with nearly $60 million fully guaranteed; he was released after just three seasons.
Suh was born in Portland, Oregon. He attended Grant High School in Portland, where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and track and field. He played as a two-way lineman for the Grant Generals. Suh earned first-team All-PIL honors on both offense and defense as a junior and was an honorable-mention All-state pick. In his senior year, he collected 65 tackles, including 10 sacks and recovered four fumbles, which earned him Parade magazine high school All-America honors, the 2004 Portland Interscholastic League Defensive Player of the Year, and a Class 4A first-team all-state selection. He also played in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. In basketball, he earned honorable-mention All-League honors as a junior and senior.
Also a track & field athlete, Suh was one of the state's top performers in the shot put. He was the district shot put champion in 2004, and won the OSAA Class 4A shot put title in 2005 with a school-record throw of 18.71 meters (61 ft, 4 in). For his all-around athletic accomplishments, Suh was a finalist for the Portland Tribune’s Athlete of the Year.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Suh was the sixth ranked defensive tackle in the United States. Recruited by many, Suh took official visits to Nebraska, Mississippi State, Oregon State, Miami (FL), and California, before committing to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on January 20, 2005.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Portland, Oregon||Grant HS||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||275 lb (125 kg)||4.9||Jan 20, 2005|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 9 (DT), 10 (school) Rivals: 6 (DT), 1 (OR), 5 (school)|
Suh attended the University of Nebraska, where he played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team from 2005 to 2009. As a true freshman 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, 7.5 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. He was also an honorable mention All-American.
In 2009, Suh registered 85 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, 24 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, 3 blocked kicks, and 1 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. He earned unanimous first-team All-Big 12 honors and the Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Nationally, he was named the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, the recipient of the Bill Willis Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. He was also a finalist for the Lott Trophy, Walter Camp Award, and Heisman Trophy.
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. 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. In October 2009, Suh was named to The Sporting News and CBS Sports midseason All-American team. Suh began season at No. 3 on Rivals.com′s preseason defensive tackle power ranking. He was also named to the 2009 Outland Trophy watch list.
On December 7, 2009, Suh was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Later that evening, Suh was named the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner as the top defensive player in the nation. 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. That same evening Suh won the Lombardi Award for the top collegiate lineman or linebacker. 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. Suh finished fourth in the Heisman race, accumulating 815 points, which is the highest total by a fourth-place finisher for the Heisman Trophy in its history. He was also one of four unanimous selections to the AP First-team All-America in 2009. Suh was named the 2009 AP Player of Year, becoming the first defensive player to receive the award in its history.
Suh was widely considered to be one of the best prospects available in the draft. ESPN.com's draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., described Suh as "maybe the most dominating defensive tackle I've seen in 32 years" and projected him to go #1 overall. 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 defense.
For off-the-field marketing activities, Suh signed with The Agency Sports Management & Marketing, where Russ Spielman served as lead agent. At the NFL Combine, Suh bench pressed 225 lbs 32 times and had a 35½ inch vertical leap, the highest for a defensive tackle since Al Lucas (36 in) in 2000.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 3 7⁄8 in
|33 1⁄2 in
|10 1⁄4 in
|4.98 s||1.59 s||2.81 s||4.44 s||7.21 s||35 1⁄2 in
|8 ft 9 in
|All values from the NFL Combine|
Before the NFL draft, Suh signed with Maximum Sports Management and agent Roosevelt Barnes. 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 first round contract hold out, waiting over six weeks into the NFL season before signing with the San Francisco 49ers. Crabtree had even threatened to re-enter the 2010 NFL Draft.
Despite the concerns, Suh was selected second overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, becoming the first defensive lineman selected by the team in the first round since Luther Elliss in 1995. Suh was the highest selected Cornhusker defender since Neil Smith in 1988.
On August 3, Suh agreed to a five-year, $68 million contract with the Lions, including $40 million guaranteed. On September 12, Suh had his first sack against Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. On October 10, during a game against the St. Louis Rams, he recorded his only career interception to date off of Sam Bradford. Suh scored the one 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.
For the 2010 season, Suh led the Lions, all rookies, and all defensive tackles in sacks with 10. 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. He missed the game, however, due to shoulder surgery. On January 25, 2011, Suh was named to the All-Pro Team. He was also named the Sporting News Rookie of the Year, the Pro Football Weekly and Pro Football Writers of America Rookie of the Year, the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, and the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
His rookie year saw the beginning of what would take Suh to a league record amount of fines for on-the-field behavior. He was fined $7,500 in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns for a facemask of Jake Delhomme, fined $5,000 for using an opponent as leverage on a field goal in a week 9 game against the Jets, and fined $15,000 in a week 13 game against the Bears for unnecessary roughness against quarterback Jay Cutler.
During the third quarter of the Lions' Thanksgiving game against the Green Bay Packers on November 24, 2011, Suh pushed Packers' offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the ground three times, then stomped on his arm. All of this took place after the whistle was blown. Suh was penalized for unnecessary roughness and ejected from the game. The resulting penalty gave the Packers an automatic first down. The Packers would score a touchdown two plays later, giving them a 14–0 lead and an eventual 27–15 victory.
Initially, Suh denied stomping on Dietrich-Smith, saying he was only trying to get his balance back. However, on Friday morning, the Lions issued a statement calling Suh's actions "unacceptable". Within hours, Suh wrote on his Facebook page that he'd "made a mistake" a day before and intended to learn from it. Fox Sports NFL rules analyst and former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said that based on his knowledge of league discipline, "the question won’t be if the NFL will suspend Suh, but when—and for how many games". He drew parallels between Suh's actions and those of Albert Haynesworth, who drew a five-game suspension—the longest suspension for an on-field incident in modern NFL history—for stomping on Andre Gurode's head in 2006.
On November 29, the NFL suspended Suh for two games without pay which was $165,294 in lost wages. In announcing the decision, Roger Goodell noted that it was the fifth time Suh had been disciplined for on-field conduct. Suh appealed the decision, and the NFL held an expedited hearing before former Oakland Raiders coach Art Shell, so that a decision could be handed down before the Lions' next game, on December 4, against the New Orleans Saints. The appeal was turned down on December 2, forcing Suh to sit out the game against the Saints and the December 11 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
During a Thanksgiving game on November 22, 2012, Suh was involved in a play in which he kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin. The incident resulted in a $30,000 fine from the league, nearly double the mandated fine for a second offense of "striking/kicking/kneeing" an opponent. There was speculation the size of the fine was recognition by the league of Suh's history of questionable on-field hits, while others viewed it as a "wishy-washy" and "cop-out" action by the league in issuing a large fine without a suspension. In response, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that "intent is something that’s very difficult for us to ever try to make a judgment on". Suh denied the kick was intentional, stating his foot inadvertently hit Schaub as he was being dragged to the ground. Suh finished 2012 with 8 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 25 tackles in 16 games (15 starts).
In the Lions' Week 1 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, 34–24, Suh low blocked John Sullivan during a DeAndre Levy "pick 6"; the resulting personal foul nullified Levy's touchdown. Two days after the game, Suh was fined $100,000 for the hit—which, not counting lost pay for suspensions, is the largest fine ever issued to a player for on-the-field actions. He appealed the fine but the ruling was later upheld by the NFL.
In the Lions' Week 6 victory over the Cleveland Browns, Suh tackled Browns QB Brandon Weeden in a questionable manner. Though not called for a penalty during the game, Suh was fined $31,500 by the NFL, but fine was later rescinded.
During a Thanksgiving game against the Packers on November 28, 2013, Suh sacked Matt Flynn in the end zone, forcing a safety for the first time of his career. On November 29, 2013, Suh was fined $7,875 for performing a throat slash gesture during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Suh racked up 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks in the 2014 season. In Week 17, against the Green Bay Packers, Suh stepped on quarterback Aaron Rodgers' calf. Suh received a one-game suspension, seemingly barring him from the Wild Card playoff game the following week against the Dallas Cowboys; but on appeal, arbitrator Ted Cottrell reversed the suspension, opting instead for another fine worth $70,000. Suh played in the Wild Card matchup against the Cowboys and sacked Tony Romo twice.
On March 11, 2015, the Miami Dolphins announced that they had signed Suh to a six-year, $114 million contract with $60 million guaranteed. The contract made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, passing Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt.
During a game against the Washington Redskins on September 13, 2015, as Redskins' running back Alfred Morris was still lying on the ground following a tackle, Suh appeared to knock Morris's helmet off with his leg. The next day, the NFL announced that they would not discipline him, as "Suh's action was not deemed a kick". Suh started all 16 games in 2015, finishing the season with 61 tackles, six sacks, and five passes defended. He was ranked 40th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
During Thursday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, Suh committed two unnecessary roughness penalties, including one moment where he attempted to choke Ryan Mallett and shove him out of reach. Suh claimed that his choke on Mallett was a self-defense, thinking that Mallett tried to attack him firsthand. The Dolphins were shut out as they lost 40-0.
On March 14, 2018, Suh was released after serving three seasons with the Dolphins.
Suh has been criticized in the media by other players and by the NFL for his aggressive style of play and has been fined a total of $216,875 by the league for four violations in the first four years in his career. In a poll of fellow players conducted by the Sporting News, Suh was named "the dirtiest player" in the NFL. As of December 2011, he had been flagged for nine personal fouls in his first two years, the most of any player in the league in that time frame. He was named the NFL's "Least-Liked Player" in a Forbes-publicized Nielsen report in October 2012.
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-professional soccer in Germany, while also playing for the Cameroonian National Team and working as a machinist. They met and married in Portland, Oregon, in 1982, after Michael Suh was admitted to a Portland trade school. Although his father is only 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), Suh's great-grandfather, also named Ndamukong Suh, stood 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m). In the Ngemba language of Cameroon, Ndamukong means "House of Spears".
Suh has a construction management degree from Nebraska and has aspirations to be a general contractor after his professional career. His father, Michael Suh, is a mechanical engineer and owns his own heating and cooling company in Portland. For his first two years in college before he knew about his professional prospects, Suh had wanted to "work with my dad and build his company up to be as big as possible" after graduation.
Suh has four sisters; he is the second oldest of the children. His older sister and manager, Odette Lennon Ngum Suh, played soccer collegiately at Mississippi State University and is currently a midfielder on the Cameroon women's national football team. His cousin, Kameron Chatman, plays for the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team.
On April 17, 2010, at the annual Husker Spring Game, Suh announced a $2.6 million donation to the University of Nebraska. Two million dollars of his gift will go to Nebraska Athletics for its Strength and Conditioning Program, and the 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. 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. Suh, a former Grant High School football star, donated $250,000 toward the effort to bring a turf field to Grant High School in 2013.
Before Suh was drafted by an NFL team, he signed an endorsement deal with Nike. Suh has also signed endorsement deals with Subway, Dick's Sporting Goods, Omaha Steaks, and Chrysler.
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