As Suh prepares for first Super Bowl, he’s ‘happy to support’ Husker football ‘any way that I can’
September must seem like a long time ago to Ndamukong Suh.
The defensive lineman is making his first trip to the Super Bowl as a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, of course. That’s the primary thing on his mind these days.
In early September, you’ll remember, well before the Rams ripped off a 13-3 record in the regular season and then dispatched the Cowboys and the Saints in the playoffs, lining up a championship showdown with the New England Patriots on Feb. 3 in Atlanta, Suh made the trek to Lincoln to watch the Huskers play for the first time since 2013.
He didn’t actually see a game — the Sept. 1 Scott Frost debut against Akron was scuttled because of a persistent lightning storm — but while the storm drenched everybody in Memorial Stadium, it didn’t dampen Suh’s spirits about the direction his alma mater’s football program is headed.
“It was great,” Suh told the Journal Star on Friday afternoon of his return to Lincoln. “I got to see a bunch of great people, (head athletic trainer) Mark Meyer, one of my close friends. A bunch of former teammates and whatnot and then I got to see a bunch of the young guys on the team that I know and have met in passing.
“It was unfortunate that I didn’t get to see a game, but I’m glad I was able to be back there and support and rile up the crowd during the delay.”
Indeed he did.
Suh’s return is one of the many markers along the way since Scott Frost was hired in Dec. 1 that looks like healing in the program.
“From the time that I left, there were some great situations with Bo (Pelini) being there and Coach (Tom) Osborne being the AD. But personally, in my own opinion, whatever decision that was made, with not allowing Coach Osborne to put his successor in, that’s when things started to go downhill,” said Suh, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. “When Bo left, from a football perspective, obviously it wasn’t the best.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about (Mike Riley), because I actually know him very well from his Oregon State days, it just wasn’t, in my opinion from afar and then in the times when I did try to come back, it just was not the Nebraska way.”
Suh, a Portland, Oregon, native, has known Frost dating back to Frost’s days at Oregon.
“I think he’s a good person and I think he’ll change the program and culture and get it to where it was,” Suh said. “I don’t know (athletic director) Bill Moos that well, met him one time when he was back, but I’ve heard nothing but great things from mutual friends. I know he was at Oregon, which I have a ton of ties to, and heard some good things.
“I think it’s a good situation and we’ve just got to continue to run the organization the Nebraska way. We can’t get away from that.”
Perhaps the next time Suh comes to Memorial Stadium, he’ll be introduced as not only one of the most dominant players in NU history, but also a Super Bowl champion.
Either way, it won’t be five years.
“I’m excited to come back for sure,” he said. “I’ve got seats there that I’d love to use and love for my family to use and just to support. I’m happy to support any way that I can within the rules.”