When people look at Ndamukong Suh, they see a 6' 5", 300 pound man-child and may expect a harsh individual, but what one expects from Suh and what one experiences are two totally different things. Suh is calm, cool, collected and is a perfectionist in everything he does. When it came time for a recent track meet, he might not have known he was going to make history, but he had certainly planned and prepared for it. "I shattered my high school shot put record," he said. Suh toppled a mark that had stood at Grant High for 36 years. "The old record was 60 feet, one inch and I threw 61 feet, four inches," said Suh.
When you make contact with the best and when you surpass it, sometimes there's a certain feel. Sometimes you know when you have gone above and beyond. For Ndamukong, it was all a matter of fact and logic. "The throw felt good when I let it go and I was just watching it go. I saw it wouldn't stop going for a while, it went past the last line and I knew I had beaten the record after that," said the soft-spoken defensive tackle prospect.
Suh plans to make his first official contact with Cornhusker soil in early July where he will train his mind and his body to become as good as he can before the individuals paid to make him even better than he is get their hands on him. Interestingly enough, they are going to have a young man on their hands whose abilities are going to make as many jaws drop in the weight room as they might in the stands on Saturdays.
"Physically, I'm just trying to get my squat to a solid 500 or over. With my bench press I'm at 405 right now so I'm looking to get to 450 or so. With my incline I'm trying to get to 400 and I'm at 360 right now. Power cleaning, I'm at 330 right now and I'm looking to get at 350-360," said Suh. You might be wondering how all of this weight is affecting his speed. "Weighing 300, I run a 4.91 40 yard dash," he said. All of that is pretty impressive, but not for Suh. "I'm not in the best shape but I'm in decent shape," said Ndamukong.
Suh was unable to attend Nebraska's second record-breaking Spring Game in a row, but word travels fast when you're learning all you can about your eventual team. "I heard the transfer, Zac Taylor, had a real good game. The defensive line is coming along real well, that's the main thing I was focused on," he said. Was he shocked to hear about the crowd size? "It's not really much of a surprise because I know NU fans are big. Down at the All-American game in January, I saw close to 100-200 Husker fans down there supporting the current commits. It's a good thing, but it's not a big surprise," said Suh.
With his college life straight ahead, Suh is ready to buckle down and get to studying books containing both educational text and football plays. "I'm pretty much (looking forward to) getting an education and to playing as a true freshman," he said. Apparently, defensive coaches are tinkering with the idea of moving Ndamukong to defensive end on certain situations. "I believe they can feel they can put me in a place where I'm needed. I'm actually a little more comfortable there just because I pretty much played there the last two years and just switched to defensive tackle this past year," he said.
As Ndamukong finishes his work in Portland and prepares to leave his old life behind, no doubt the ever-growing young man has his eyes on becoming the best that Nebraska can offer on and off the field. The goals aren't ones of bravado or grandeur, but rather the knowledge that Suh himself has the ability to rise up and overcome anything or anyone in his path. One might agree that several coaches in Lincoln are smiling and nodding in agreement already.