Not in Oregon
There was one game yet to be played, that being the 58th annual Les Schwab Bowl, specifically meant for those that have graduated from the high school ranks.
It was the one last go around for future Husker Ndamukong Suh as he got to compete in a game that for him and those like him, has become an institution. "Everyone wants to play in this game," Suh said. "It's your last opportunity to play here, so it's special."
Leave it to the Grant high school star to take the opportunity and once again become one of the many focal points of the game, although Suh still managed to surprise a few that have become used to his prolific exploits.
North and South are tied with 36 seconds left to go in the game; the North stampeding back on a South lead that was at one point in the fourth period, 30-14. 16 points later, the North team stood just two yards away from the goal line and almost certain victory if they could only just punch it in.
Bring on the "Beefcake"
No, North head coach Steve Coury didn't call out the Chippendales to come in and win this one for his squad. Rather, the colorful name referred to an offensive package, where size really does matter.
Try about 590 pounds.
That was the total weight of the two "running backs" in the backfield, Ndamukong Suh making up for 310 of those pounds. So, ala "Refrigerator Perry" of the Chicago Bears of the mid-80s, Suh got the ball and blasted in for the game-winning score.
To add to the luster of Suh's evening, where he tallied close to double-digit tackles, including two sacks, he kicked the extra points as well.
It wasn't necessarily because he was the best kicker, however.
"We didn't have a kicker for the game," Suh said. "So, they just kind of picked people to do the punting, kicking off, field goals and extra points. I kicked extra points for my team, so I was the one that got the job."
It's not that Suh doesn't enjoy that kind of diversity, but he's welcoming the singularity of his position once he arrives in Lincoln as he finally becomes an official part of the big red. Only, it's not totally clear as to what position that is.
"They have talked about defensive tackle and defensive end," Suh said of his communications with the coaches as to just where he's slated to play. "I personally don't care, because I just want to be able to make an impact when I get out there."
An impact? Him? If you ask Ndamukong himself, he's going to be humble about his potential, talk quietly about how he hopes this, aspires for that and dreams of becoming a significant part of the blackshirts.
Talk to almost anyone else, he's going to be big-time with a capital B.
With his size, the over 300 pounder standing right at 6 foot, 5 inches tall, and his strength, Ndamukong bench pressing a whopping 405 pounds, and his last year at the prep-level, Suh tallying 10 sacks, recovering four fumbles, taking one of those in for a touchdown; his hope is everyone else's expectations.
As per his history, those things don't consume him as he knows what any fans of any major programs want. What HE wants is simply to be the best he can be and for that to be better every year he's there.
"All I want to do is to contribute, become as good of a player as I can be and help our team to win," he said. "I don't think about stats or any of that. What I want is the same thing the other players want and the coaches: titles."
"Winning is what matters."
Indeed and winning is paramount this year, because Nebraska did less of that than they have done in over forty years. Ndamukong Suh is one part of a huge class that once it arrives, the expectations on all of them are going to be that they will be the key for future success.
That's all well and good, but that doesn't answer the biggest question regarding Suh, who's defensive prowess is obvious. What everyone wants to know is if this "Beefcake" play is coming with him.
"Oh, I don't know about that, they have a lot of pretty good running backs already there," Suh said of possibly carrying the ball for the Huskers. "I think I'll probably just play defense and that's enough for me."
"It was a lot of fun, though."