Early second to late first rounder was what the advisory committee had to tell Ndamukong Suh about his draft position in the 2009 draft. I would be hard pressed to say that I agree with that that assessment. In my mind, Suh should have been a top 10 pick.
With Suh coming back to Lincoln though and after admitting that his technique has improved dramatically in just one year with Bo Pelini and Carl Pelini aiding his development he will, barring injury, get that top 10 pick next year.
What Suh has to gain from coming back to Lincoln, besides the opportunity to graduate college from Nebraska, is millions of dollars. Think that this is the first player that thought about leaving Bo his junior year only to come back and be a top pick the next?
Two names come to mind just from Bo's days in LSU. The two that I can think of are obviously LaRon Landry and Glenn Dorsey. In fact, if you put Glenn Dorsey's stats side by side with Suh's you'd be surprised at the similarities.
Glenn Dorsey as a freshman had 18 tackles, six solos, two sacks, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. As a sophomore he had 28 tackles, 13 solos, three sacks, four tackles for loss and a QB pressure. As a junior Suh had 64 tackles, 22 solos, three sacks, eight and a half tackles for loss and a QB pressure. As a senior he had 69 tackles, 39 solos, seven sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, three passes defensed, four QB pressures and a forced fumble.
Suh was granted a medical hardship his true freshman year at Nebraska. As a sophomore, Suh had 19 tackles, 12 solos, eight tackles for loss, three and a half sacks, one caused fumble and two quarterback hurries. As a junior, Suh had 34 tackles, 22 solos, one sack, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick, two passes defensed and four QB hurries. As a senior, Suh led the team in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks and interceptions. He had 76 tackles, 39 solos, 19 tackles for loss, seven and a half sacks, two interceptions, three passes defensed, seven QB hurries, one forced fumble and two blocked kicks.
Dorsey came back to school for his senior year in Baton Rouge, La. and helped LSU go on to win the BCS national title. More than that, Dorsey was the fifth pick taken overall by the Kansas City Chiefs proving that coming back was a terrific decision for him.
It can be argued that Suh's season in Lincoln was bigger than that of all-Big 12 selection Gerald McCoy from Oklahoma. Suh more than doubled McCoy's total for tackles, had eight more tackles for loss, one more sack, one more interception, one more pass defensed, and five more QB hurries.
What Nebraska receives with Suh's return is a 5-star recruit. Suh, arguably, will be the most talked about DT in the nation next year and will set a prime example about development under Bo Pelini at Nebraska as well as incentive for some to decide to stay in schools for the right reasons.
If only for one season, Suh can put it together, end to end, he might emerge as one of the most dominant forces inside at Nebraska since the days of the Christian and Jason Peter. He might not be that vocal leader that they were, but what he does on the field carries with it a lead by example price that everyone can see and feed off of.
The Huskers might have been looking for one more defensive tackle for the 2009 class, but I would chalk up the biggest commitment of the 2009 class to Bo Pelini convincing one of the most disruptive and powerful defensive tackles in Nebraska history to return to Lincoln for another year.