A hard-hitting story

Lions star says he 'outgrew soccer'

Last Updated: 07/02/12 10:40am

He might look like a big cuddly teddy bear, but Ndamukong Suh is a big, mean, tackling machine!

"I like hitting hard and that's kind of the reason I moved away from playing soccer - I couldn't body check people because I'd get a red card! "

Ndamukong Suh

Quotes of the week

A defensive tackle for NFL outfit the Detroit Lions, Suh weighs in at 307 lbs and can bench press an incredible 470 lbs!

Drafted by the Lions in 2010, he became one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history in his senior year at the University of Nebraska, winning a host of awards including Player of the Year.

In his first two seasons in the NFL, the 25-year-old has gained a reputation for being one of the hardest hitting players in the game and he says that's just the way he likes it!

"I like to hit people hard!" he told Soccer AM. "I'm just being aggressive and trying to help my team win.

"I'm a defensive tackle so I'm the guy who lines up against all those big fat offensive linesman and takes them down and goes after the quarterbacks and running backs.

"I like hitting hard and that's kind of the reason I moved away from playing soccer - I couldn't body check people because I'd get a red card!

"I started playing when I was three, but I stopped when I got into the eighth grade. I kind of outgrew it so I was little bit too big when I'd slide tackle and body checked people."


In November Suh was ejected from a game against the Green Bay Packers after appearing to stamp on an opponent's arm.

It is incidents such as that which has given rise to the image that he is a player that sometimes crosses the line. However, there is a more laidback and generous side to the Portland-born star's character.

In 2010 he donated $2.6 million to the University of Nebraska where he had spent the previous five years crafting his game and he revealed his on-field persona couldn't be further away to that off it.

"I'm real laidback and everyone calls me teddy bear that knows me when I'm outside the realm of football," he said. "So for me it's when I get into that zone on the football field I'm a whole different person."

Super Bowl

Like the vast majority of American's across the world, Suh will be tuning in for Sunday's Super Bowl, when the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots.

The showpiece event is one of the biggest in the country's sporting calendar and the place every NFL player aspires to get to.

The Lions reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999 this season, before losing to the New Orleans Saints, but Suh believes the franchise are heading in the right direction.

He said: "We had a little stumble and lost to the Saints but I think we're going to come back strong this upcoming season.

"We had a big improvement from the season before - my rookie season - but it's a matter of staying on the path, getting on track and getting to the Super Bowl soon."