Ndamukong Suh's $2.6M Pledge

It was no surprise that University of Nebraska powerhouse defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was chosen so early in the NFL draft -- picked second overall by the Detroit Lions on Thursday.

But what Suh did earlier in the week is what caught people's attention.

"To get where I am now, it's really been a blessing," Suh said. "I wanted to give back to a great university and a great organization that helped me so much."

On Sunday, Suh announced to 77,000 Husker fans at the annual spring game in Lincoln that he planned to donate $2 million to the University of Nebraska athletic department. He's also giving his alma mater, the University's College of Engineering, $600,000 to endow a scholarship.

All of this before he had even been chosen by an NFL team, before he had signed a contract.

"This gift is a way to honor teammates, coaches and fans by giving back [to] a program and university that's given me so much," he said.

Suh chose the University of Nebraska and its football program because of its focus on academics.

His mother, Bernadette, is a schoolteacher who insisted he had to succeed as a student before he was allowed to step onto an athletic field.

"My freshman year, she wanted me to get acclimated to school and make sure I could handle the workload," he said. "And once I proved that, she allowed me to go out for sports and then continue to play as long as I maintained my 3.0 or better."

A belief in giving back is also something Suh inherited.

"I have great parents who had lead me in a great direction," he said.

"We're a family that likes to give, and so I am very proud that he has decided to give the way he's given," Bernadette Suh said.

"The accomplishment is beyond my expectations ... [and makes me] very, very proud," added Ndamukong Suh's father, Michael Suh.

Suh's first name comes from his father's native country, Cameroon. The name Ndamukong means "house of spears" -- perhaps appropriate for someone who hopes to shred his opponents on the field.

Suh's $2.6 million donation is the largest ever from a former student-athlete at Nebraska -- a distinction he hopes to relinquish one day.

"I am very proud to set a precedent," he said, "and I am looking forward to being beaten sometime in the future."

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