I know it sounds odd to say a close 4th, when there were only five finalists, but that was the case as Huskers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh finished behind Colt McCoy, Toby Gerhart and the Heisman winner, Mark Ingram of Alabama for the 2009 trophy.
Suh finished the voting with 815 points. He was looking to become the second defensive player to win the Heisman, but it turned out to be a two man race with Alabama running back Mark Ingram (1,304 points) just getting past Stanford running back Toby Gerhart (1,276 points) by 28 points for the Heisman. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy (1,145 points) followed in third ahead of Suh. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was fifth.
Suh actually won the Southwest, as the voting is divided up in regions which I found ironic given the state of Texas was in the Southwest region. I felt Mark Ingram made a good argument for the award given the fact his team is the number one team in the country, but after McCoy won the Walter Camp Player of the Year award on Thursday, I thought that could be a precursor for the Heisman.
However, when you talk to most people outside of Nebraska, they hold high praise for Suh and I’m wondering what the hold up was…because he was a defensive player? Because, in fact his team did not beat another Heisman hopeful in the Big 12 championship game?
I’m not sure, but in my mind, there was no other player more dominant than Suh. I truly don’t believe there was another player who could control and/or turn a game around more often or keep his team in a game more so than Suh.
Regardless, just becoming a finalist is a huge accomplishment and Suh will move on after the Holiday Bowl and have a very successful career in the NFL. He should and will hold his head up high.