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NEW YORK (AP) -- Portland, Ore., native Ndamukong Suh has become the first defensive player voted The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year.

The Nebraska defensive tackle received 26 of a possible 59 votes from AP college football poll voters to edge Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. Heisman winner Mark Ingram finished tied for third with Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

Suh got a relatively late start to football. Soccer and basketball were his thing growing up in Portland, the son of a Jamaican mother and father from Cameroon.

But Suh literally outgrew soccer. His mother, Bernadette, was apprehensive about allowing her son to play football, but eventually gave her permission.

Ball carriers have been dealing with the repercussions of that decision ever since.

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