Let's cut right to the obvious question: is this even going to be a contest? After last season, we've all got high opinions of Ndamukong Suh, but have we had enough time to put his accomplishments in perspective? Last season, we tried to sell the idea that Suh was worthy of the Heisman Trophy; are we now ready to suggest that he's not the best ever at Nebraska?
So before we nominate candidates for this thread, we'll begin with a vote. Do we vote for players based on their careers prior to 2009? Or do we just go ahead and vote for best period, and let the chips fall where they may?
My vote is that it's too soon to vote, and unfair to the other players in Nebraska history after such hype and promotion. I think we need a little time to digest his career. That doesn't mean Suh shouldn't be nominated or discussed in this debate; in fact, please do so. But just because he was the best in college football in 2009, does that mean he's the best ever at Nebraska?
Where do we start with Ndamukong Suh: Lombardi, Outland, and Bednarik awards. Consensus all-American. 57 career tackles for loss (2nd all-time at Nebraska), 15 career pass breakups (all time leader for defensive linemen at Nebraska), 6 career blocked kicks (2nd only to Barron Miles). Simply put...the best player in college football in 2009.
A two time all-American, Grant Wistrom won the 1997 Lombardi Award (the Outland went to teammate Aaron Graham on offense). He still holds the Nebraska record for tackles for loss at 58.5 in his career. He played a key role on three national championships, and started for both the 1995 and 1997 champions, going 49-2 in his Husker career. He also was a two-time academic all-American and won the NCAA's "Top VIII" award for outstanding achievements in athletics, academics, and in leadership. Wistrom was drafted with the sixth pick in the 1998 NFL draft, and played nine seasons in the NFL, including three Super Bowls.
Rich Glover was a two time consensus all-American in 1971 and 1972, and won both the 1972 Outland and Lombardi Awards. He had a huge role in the classic "Game of the Century", with 22 tackles of the Oklahoma Sooners that day. Like Big Mister Suh, Glover got serious Heisman consideration, finishing third in the 1972 vote. Glover went on to play three seasons in the NFL after being drafted in the third round in the 1973 draft.
So there are my three nominees. Anybody want to offer up other candidates to compete with these three greats? And do we set aside Suh's 2009 season for now in this voting?