* Posted by:
* 02:10 AM ET 10.09
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Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh::Dennis Hubbard/Icon SMI
I've been working on getting a Heisman vote this season. In fact, after watching Nebraska beat Missouri on Thursday, I e-mailed my regional director again to make sure he includes my name on the list of new voters. If I had a ballot and it was due today, I know who I would vote No. 1.
Suh, a senior defensive tackle Nebraska, proved again Thursday why NFL general managers covet him more than just about anyone else in the nation. And if they think Suh is the nation's most outstanding player, why shouldn't Heisman voters, who are tasked with selecting - and I'm using the Heisman committee's words here - the nation's most outstanding player?
I touted Suh for Heisman before the season began, but after Thursday I'm even more convinced he deserves consideration. Consider Suh's night Thursday. In the first quarter, he dragged down Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, causing a fumble. For much of the first half, Suh blew up almost every Missouri rushing attempt, and he constantly harassed Gabbert, who was limping thanks to an ankle injury suffered when Suh sacked him.
Late in the third quarter, Suh - who had dropped into coverage - barely missed grabbing the first interception of Gabbert's career. Early in the fourth, Suh finished the job. He leaped and deflected a pass, then cradled it in his paws. Few 300-pounders on the planet are athletic enough to intercept that pass.
Suh's final statline: six tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception. He also disrupted almost every play Missouri ran.
For the season, Suh leads the Cornhuskers with 32 tackles. That may not sound impressive, but a defensive tackle who leads his team in tackles, drops into coverage and picks off passes is every bit as oustanding as a 4,000-yard passer or an 1,800-yard back. The problem is that the average Heisman voter doesn't understand how much a dominant defensive tackle can change a game.
Voters often counter that quarterbacks receive an inordinate amount of votes because the ball is in their hands every play. What they fail to consider is that a player like Suh affects every play in which he participates. Opposing offensive coordinators must design game plans around him. Quarterbacks must always know where he is. Offensive linemen must double-team him, lest their quarterback suffer as Gabbert did Thursday.
So, please, Heisman committee, give me a vote. I'll do exactly as you ask and select the nation's most outstanding player.