DT Ndamukong Suh stars on and off field like a QB
NEW YORK (AP) – Quarterbacks dominate games. Running backs carry their teams. Wide receivers almost single-handedly pull off a victory.
Defensive tackles? They never get talked about that way.
Unless they’re Ndamukong Suh. His 12 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks when Nebraska nearly stunned Texas in the Big 12 title game proved that the big guy in the middle can be just as electrifying as the skill position players.
“We changed that game totally,” Suh told The Associated Press on Tuesday, two days before he’s expected to be one of the top picks in the NFL draft. “The offense could not pass the ball or run the ball.”
Suh’s life the past few months has seemed more like that of a quarterback than a defensive tackle. He was the first defensive player to be a Heisman Trophy finalist since 1997, and he received more points than any fourth-place finisher in the 75-year history of the award.
He then became the first defensive player voted The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year since the award began in 1998.
He’s gone on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” and on Tuesday he was scurrying around New York from one promotional event to another.
“I want to be a guy that sets a trend that big guys can do the same as skill guys,” Suh said while making an appearance for Subway with one of those skill guys, Clemson’s C. J. Spiller.
At 6-foot-4, 307 pounds, Suh is part of a new wave of tackles just as agile as players at other positions. Sure, pass-rushing end might seem like the more glamorous position on the line, but Suh notes that when the guy in the middle can dominate, the offense can’t run to one side to avoid a star DE.
“(We’re) normal guys that don’t have that glitz and glamour already on him just because he plays a skill position,” Suh said. “Definitely I think fans can latch onto that.”
RAMS NOT TIPPING HAND
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Two days ahead of the draft, St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney said leaguewide interest in acquiring the first pick has been light.
Predictably, he refused to tip his hand whether the Rams stand pat.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo even passed the buck right back to Devaney at a news conference Tuesday, joking that the team would do “whatever Billy decides.”
Devaney said quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy remained in the running. He expected to have the team’s board stacked by later in the afternoon, and planned to poll scouts and coaches Wednesday.
The Cleveland Browns, who have the seventh pick, are the only team to announce their desire to trade up with St. Louis.
TEBOW NOT SURE WHERE HE WILL WATCH DRAFT
NEW YORK (AP) – Tim Tebow doesn’t know yet where he plans to watch the NFL draft.
The former Florida quarterback says he is still considering the NFL’s offer to be on hand at Radio City Music Hall for the first round Thursday night, but also wants to share the moment with his family.
It is possible the former Heisman Trophy winner won’t be taken Thursday night, because the second round doesn’t start until Friday.