I was watching the television yesterday and tuned to the Big Ten Network, which was airing its “Big Ten’s Best: Defensive Linemen 2000-2010.”
Not surprisingly, the Redskins’ Ryan Kerrigan — who has since converted to outside linebacker after playing his entire career at Purdue University as a defensive end — ranked high on this list at No. 2 overall.
The player listed at No. 1, however, was baffling.
It was Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who had a dominating career with the Cornhuskers before becoming a standout with the Detroit Lions.
Now, you definitely can’t argue with the numbers.
In his career at Nebraska, the Heisman Award finalist had 57 tackles for loss with 24 sacks — almost unheard of for a defensive tackle. He even had a touchdown reception while playing as a fullback. He was named First-Team All-American and Associated Press National Player of the Year.
The problem? Suh didn’t play a down in college as a Big Ten player. He played in the Big 12, where he was appropriately named Defensive Player of the Year and Lineman of the Year.
Nebraska didn’t officially move over to the Big Ten until July 2011. By that time, Suh was preparing for his second season in the NFL.
Kerrigan, meanwhile, obviously played his entire career in the Big Ten. His career numbers at Purdue are very similar to Suh’s: 57 tackles for loss, 33.5 sacks and he also is tied for the most forced fumbles in NCAA Division I history.
Maybe the Big Ten Network didn’t want Nebraska to have any hard feelings, but the fact of the matter is that Suh would most likely rank No. 1 on the same list in the Big 12 — where he played his entire collegiate career.
But, then again, it’s definitely nothing to lose sleep over. Just thought it was interesting.
Click here for the rest of the list, which, according to the article was released last September.
Tags: Big 12, Big Ten, Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, Purdue, ryan kerrigan, washington redskins
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