Sat Apr 17 04:59pm EDT
It should go without saying that Nebraska's heralded strength and conditioning program has been very good to its latest All-American and soon-to-be multimillionaire draft pick, Ndamukong Suh. For the record, though, ESPN put the Huskers' most acclaimed product in years under the microscope earlier this month, with devastating results for nearby crash-test dummies:
That tremendous power and explosiveness won't pay off until Suh signs on with the team that drafts him among the top two or three picks on Thursday night. When it does, as he informed the packed crowd today at Nebraska's spring game, a hefty chunk of his first big payday is going back from whence it came:
Only days before Ndamakong Suh is drafted into the NFL, the Husker defensive lineman paid back his former school with $2.6 million in donations announced at Saturday’s Red-White Game.
Suh, speaking to fans in a taped message on the HuskerVision screens, announced that he would give $2 million to the athletic department in support of the strength and conditioning program. Additionally, Suh will donate $600,000 toward an endowed scholarship for students of [the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's] School of Engineering.
(Click here to watch the video from the game.) The gift is the largest ever at Nebraska from a single player, according to former coach-turned-atheltic director Tom Osborne, and will go mainly toward renovations to the strength and conditioning center on the north end of Memorial Stadium. Suh himself graduated in December with a Construction Management degree from the engineering school (his father is an engineer) and requested that students from his old high school, Grant High in Portland, Ore., be given first preference for the scholarship. If this request is not honored, he will singlehandedly smash the administration building into a fine dust, then put his construction degree to use by overseeing the erection of a new structure topped by a dome bearing his image for the benefit of passengers in planes flying overhead as well as assorted birds.
Anyway: No pressure or anything to make good on that earning potential, big guy.
At the very least, the donation ensures that Suh, unlike some of his former teammates, will never to return to Lincoln to apologize for being a jerk during his time there. (Unless, that is, he goes all Michael Scott when the bill comes due. Given that "Scott's Tots" were relying on a middle manager at a regional paper merchant rather than a top-five NFL draft pick, this is probably not a serious concern for the university. But don't count your eggs, etc.)