Ndamukong Suh kept his distance for years. Now he’s all in on Huskers’ future

Ndamukong Suh kept his distance for years. Now he’s all in on Huskers’ future
Ndamukong Suh hadn't attended a Husker game in years before he showed up for the season opener against Akron, though it would eventually get canceled by weather. RYAN SODERLIN/THE WORLD-HERALD

LINCOLN — Thunderstorms may have canceled the first game of Nebraska’s season, but it didn’t keep one of the Huskers’ most legendary defensive players away.

For three full seasons, the turmoil inside Nebraska’s athletic department was responsible for the absence of Ndamukong Suh, whose name is on Nebraska’s weight room complex.

In an interview Friday — nine days before he and the Los Angeles Rams play New England in the Super Bowl — Suh said he’s happy to be around Husker football again now that Scott Frost is in charge. He backed away from the program after former Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst fired coach Bo Pelini in late 2014.

Suh was on the sideline for Pelini’s final game at Iowa. Between that day and Sept. 1, when Nebraska’s game against Akron was rained out, Suh kept his distance.

“Before Scott Frost and Bill Moos were put in a position to get things back in place — really closer to the Nebraska way — I didn’t believe in some things the former A.D. was doing and had in place,” Suh said. “I didn’t necessarily remove myself from the team, I was just helping people that I knew from afar. I was still close with people I knew in the organization. I was just sad to see a lot of the things that transpired. That’s kind of where it was.

“I believe Frost is a good human being and coach and will do great things for Nebraska. As I’ve known him — and got to know him more at the University of Oregon and now at Nebraska — hopefully things can get turned around pretty quickly.”

Suh predicted Nebraska’s potential under Frost can quickly reach where it was when Suh left in 2009. That Husker team was Nebraska’s best in the last decade.

“When I watched games this year, they played really well, they just ended up on the short end of the stick,” Suh said. “I think recruiting is going to be a really big piece. They’re very transparent in taking care of these young men and preparing them to be strong men who leave with degrees and opportunities to play at the next level. That’s the biggest piece.”

Suh said he’ll try to make another game soon — he said it’s harder playing on the West Coast — but he plans to return to Nebraska at some point in the offseason.

He said he still keeps in touch with several former teammates, including Jared Crick, Zach Potter and Cody Glenn. He also recently reconnected with former Husker Daniel Bullocks, whom Suh described as a “big brother” when he arrived at Nebraska in 2005. Bullocks now works for the San Francisco 49ers.

“He took care of me, gave me a car I could drive, showed me around town and all that,” Suh said. “It was good to catch up with him.”

UCLA lands Nebraska recruit Charles Njoku, leaving Huskers in search for big receiver

LINCOLN — Charles Njoku had Nebraska as his top school before his final recruiting visit.

That trip, to UCLA, changed his mind.

So the 6-foot-5, 200-pound receiver from Wayne (N.J.) Hills told Husker and Bruin coaches this week he was headed to the Pac-12. Friday night, he officially announced his decision.

Nebraska’s search for a big-bodied wide receiver continues.

“UCLA has a great atmosphere,” Njoku said. “And there are good connections for after school.”

UCLA didn’t offer a scholarship to Njoku until his official visit on Jan. 18, one week after his official visit to Nebraska.

“I felt more comfortable there,” Njoku said.

The Huskers have hosted one other receiver who remains available — Oklahoma City Millwood star Demariyon “Hollywood” Houston, who visited NU Jan. 18. Houston tweeted that he liked NU on his visit. He canceled a visit to Penn State but still has a visit slated to Colorado for Feb. 1.

NU has signed three receivers — Darien Chase, Jamie Nance and Wandale Robinson — for the 2019 recruiting class. Robinson and Nance have already enrolled.