Suh tabbed as Def. Player of the Year for '09

Nebraska senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been chosen as the Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of media representatives who cover the Big 12. Suh was joined by junior place-kicker Alex Henery on the 2009 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team.

The 6-4, 300-pound Suh led Nebraska in tackles last season with 76, the highest total by a defensive lineman since 1992 and he was the first lineman to lead the Huskers in tackles in 35 seasons. His tackle total also led all defensive linemen in the Big 12 Conference. He added 19 tackles for losses and 7.5 sacks and helped Nebraska finish second in the conference in total defense. His play last fall earned him first-team all-conference accolades by most services and second-team honors from the Big 12 Conference coaches.

Former Nebraska defensive end Grant Wistrom was honored as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in the conference's first two years in 1996 and 1997, but Nebraska has not won the award since. Nebraska quarterbacks Eric Crouch (1999, 2001) and Zac Taylor (2006) have captured Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors.

Henery has put together two of the finest seasons for a place-kicker in Nebraska history. Henery was perfect on PAT and field-goal attempts as a freshman in 2007, then made 18-of-21 field goals during his sophomore season. He enters the 2009 season as the nation's most accurate returning kicker having made 26-of-29 career field goals, for an 89.7 percent accuracy rate. Henery was a second-team All-Big 12 pick by a number of sources last fall and earned honorable-mention all-league honors from the Big 12 coaches.

In addition to Suh, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was tabbed as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor was picked as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

On Thursday, Nebraska was selected as the media's preseason choice to capture the Big 12 North Division. The poll and the all-conference team were announced in advance of next week's Big 12 Football Media Days in Irving, Texas. Nebraska will take part in the event Monday afternoon and will be represented by Head Coach Bo Pelini, I-back Roy Helu Jr., offensive lineman Jacob Hickman and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Live video coverage of the event will be featured on Big 12 Sports.com.

Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team

 

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