LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh spent 13 weeks of the season accumulating tackles and sacks. This week he's accumulating trophies and awards.
He pulled off a grand slam of sorts Thursday night by winning the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman and the Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player at the College Football Awards ceremonies at Disney's BoardWalk.
Earlier this week, Suh received the Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defensive player and the Lombardi Award as the nation's premier lineman.
"I'm happy with all the success and everything that's going on, but first and foremost I have to thank all my teammates, especially my interior guys I play with - Jared Crick, Barry Turner and Pierre Allen," Suh said. "I couldn't have done this without them. They're a huge part of this. I'm just seen as the leader of that group. I just seem to be the one to rack up these awards."
Suh has gone four-for-four at award ceremonies. The big question: Will he take the fifth?
Not since Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson in 1997 has a defensive player won the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded in New York on Saturday night. No defensive tackle ever has won it.
But Suh has made a strong push to be the first. This season, he has 82 tackles, an incredible amount for an interior defensive lineman. He has 23 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He also broke up 10 passes, had an interception and blocked a kick.
"I just want to represent all the guys in the trenches - the unsung heroes in the defensive line and the offensive line," Suh said. "I just want to represent them in the right way."
He did that last Saturday night in the Big 12 championship game when he came tantalizingly close to leading Nebraska to an upset of Texas. He had 4.5 sacks and generally wreaked havoc on the Longhorns offensive line.
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is convinced Suh deserved Heisman consideration.
"He's racking up the awards, which he deserves," McCoy said. "He's a great football player. Thank goodness I don't have to see him again ... on the field."
Suh said he was caught by surprise when he was invited to the Heisman ceremonies as a finalist.
"I had no clue what allowed me to get that trip to New York," he said. "I wanted to go out that game and play as hard as I could, as I do every game. And emphasize a little bit more just for the simple fact that it was the Big 12 championship, we had a lot at stake, obviously a championship ring, a Fiesta Bowl bid. You definitely wanted to take care of business. It just didn't work out."
Suh had been considered an outside Heisman contender, but the showing against Texas thrust him into the thick of the race.
A survey of more than 250 voters by StiffArmTrophy.com, a Web site that aims to project the Heisman recipient, shows Suh has received more first-place votes than any other candidate, and was in a close race with running backs Toby Gerhart of Stanford and Mark Ingram of Alabama for the trophy.
Gerhart, who leads the nation with 1,736 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns, was the recipient of the Doak Walker Award, which is presented to the nation's best running back. He was selected over Ingram and Clemson's C.J. Spiller, so perhaps that's an omen of what to expect in New York.
In recent years, the Davey O'Brien Award has been a prelude to the Heisman. Six times since 2000, including each of the past three seasons, the O'Brien Award recipient also won the Heisman Trophy.
If that trend continues, McCoy will join Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams as Heisman recipients from Texas. McCoy was awarded the O'Brien Award over Florida's Tim Tebow and Houston's Case Keenum.
"That's special," McCoy said. "You always say you never play to win awards, but when you're honored with them, it shows you how good your team was and the success you have. I attribute that to them."
The O'Brien Award was one of three McCoy won Thursday. He also was named the Walter Camp Player of the Year and won the Maxwell Award as the nation's best all-around player.
Perhaps that clean sweep could also be seen as a good omen for McCoy in New York, too.
"You never know what's going to happen this weekend," McCoy said. "That's up to a bunch of voters that I don't even know.
"I was proud of the Walter Camp because that's voted on by the coaches across the country. To know that they voted me as the player of the year, that's a big honor."
McCoy said his awards couldn't be viewed as an indicator that he'd win the Heisman. "I don't think this has any impact on the Heisman," he said. "At the same time, I'm very thankful."
Later, after commenting that he didn't play for awards and that they're a credit to the team, McCoy still took a jab at Austin (Texas) American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, who did not vote for McCoy for the Heisman.
"Tell Kirk Bohls thanks for all the votes," McCoy told a few writers. "You can put that on the air or anywhere you want."
Also receiving recognition were Florida center Maurkice Pouncey as the Rimington Trophy recipient, Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez as the John Mackey Award winner and Alabama's Kirby Smart as the winner of the Frank Broyles Award, which is presented to the nation's top assistant.
Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.