Multi-faceted 'Big Suh' checks in as sixth-best Big 12 player

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 6

Ndamukong Suh has been transformed under Bo Pelini's defense.

After being a huge disappointment while playing under former coordinator Kevin Cosgrove's defense earlier in his career, Suh blossomed into one of the most dominant defensive players in the country last season.

Maybe it was being healthy. Or maybe it was his comfort in the new defensive philosophy. But Suh was a legitimate beast - particularly during the second half of the season when he led the Cornhuskers to a share of the Big 12 North title.

If he improves on that performance, he could develop into the kind of player who earns mention for national awards and All-America honors.

As well as likely leading the Cornhuskers to the North Division title.

Player: Ndamukong Suh
Team: Nebraska
Position: Defensive tackle
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 300 pounds; Sr.; Portland, Ore. (Grant)

Why he was picked: Suh is the anchor of the Nebraska defense, providing the Cornhuskers with a unique combination of size and strength. He can dominate the game, while providing unusual production for a player from his position. Known as "Big Suh" by Pelini, he lived up to that billing by producing a team-leading 76 tackles - the first defensive lineman to lead Nebraska in tackles since 1973. He also produced team-leading totals of 19 tackles for losses, 7½ sacks and seven quarterback hurries. Suh also is a productive short-yardage blocking back and even snagged a 2-yard TD reception to key the Cornhuskers' victory over Kansas.

What 2009 will hold: Suh's dramatic transformation after earlier career disappointments helped spur the Cornhuskers' Gator Bowl victory over Clemson as he became a Nebraska defensive linchpin with one of the most productive seasons in school history. If he makes a similar jump this season, Suh could merit legitimate mention as one of the greatest players in Nebraska history. Another big season will likely have the Cornhuskers in the hunt for their first Big 12 championship game appearance since 2006. And if he remains productive and healthy, he could be in line for a lot of money as a high first-round draft pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

The countdown:

7. Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy
8. Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter
9. Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
10. Kansas QB Todd Reesing
11. Oklahoma RB-KR DeMarco Murray
12. Oklahoma State T Russell Okung
13. Texas DE-LB Sergio Kindle
14. Oklahoma T Trent Williams
15. Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon
16. Baylor LB Joe Pawelek
17. Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson
18. Texas WR-KR Jordan Shipley
19. Oklahoma RB Chris Brown
20. Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr.
21. Texas Tech DT Colby Whitlock
22. Kansas WR-KR Dezmon Briscoe
23. Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal
24. Kansas S Darrell Stuckey
25. Texas Tech RB Baron Batch
26. Kansas QB-WR Kerry Meier
27. Texas T Adam Ulatoski
28. Oklahoma State LB Andre Sexton
29. Missouri G Kurtis Gregory
30. Missouri RB Derrick Washington
31. Texas Tech LB Brian Duncan
32. Texas S Earl Thomas
33. Kansas State WR-KR Brandon Banks
34. Oklahoma LB Keenan Clayton
35. Baylor S Jordan Lake
36. Oklahoma State CB-KR Perrish Cox
37. Texas C Chris Hall
38. Texas Tech DE-DT McKinner Dixon
39. Kansas State DE Brandon Harold
40. Oklahoma FB Matt Clapp