Suh was born in Portland, Oregon. He attended Grant High School in Portland, where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and track and field. He played as a two-way lineman for the Grant Generals. Suh earned first-team All-PIL honors on both offense and defense as a junior and was an honorable-mention All-state pick. In his senior year, he collected 65 tackles, including 10 sacks and recovered four fumbles, which earned him Parade magazine high school All-America honors, the 2004 Portland Interscholastic League Defensive Player of the Year, and a Class 4A first-team all-state selection. He also played in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. In basketball, he earned honorable-mention All-League honors as a junior and senior.
Also a track & field athlete, Suh was one of the state’s top performers in the shot put. He was the district shot put champion in 2004, and won the OSAA Class 4A shot put title in 2005 with a school-record throw of 18.71 meters (61 ft, 4 in). For his all-around athletic accomplishments, Suh was a finalist for the Portland Tribune’s Athlete of the Year.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Suh was the sixth ranked defensive tackle in the United States.Recruited by many, Suh took official visits to Nebraska, Mississippi State, Oregon State, Miami (FL), and California, before committing to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on January 20, 2005.
Suh attended the University of Nebraska, where he played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team from 2005 to 2009. As a true freshman in 2005, Suh played in the first two games and had an assisted tackle against Wake Forest before missing the remainder of the season after undergoing knee surgery. He received a medical redshirt.
In 2006, Suh played in all 14 games as a backup defensive lineman and earned freshman All-Big 12 honors from The Sporting News. Despite coming off the bench, he finished the year with 19 total tackles, and ranked among the team leaders in tackles for loss (8) and quarterback sacks (3½). In his sophomore season, Suh started in 11 of the Cornhuskers’ 12 games, and recorded 34 total tackles on the season.
As a junior in 2008, Suh recorded a team-high 76 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), and a touchdown reception while playing fullback. He became the first Nebraska defensive lineman to lead the team in tackles since 1973. Suh earned First-team All-Big 12 honors in 2008, the first Nebraska interior defensive lineman to earn those honors since Steve Warren in 1999. He was also an honorable mention All-American.
In 2009, Suh registered 85 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, 24 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, 3 blocked kicks, and 1 interception. Suh had 12 tackles (seven for losses, a school single-game record) and 4½ sacks in a 13–12 loss to the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game, for which he received game MVP honors. He helped Huskers defense rank first nationally in scoring defense (10.4 ppg), tied for second in total sacks (44), first in pass efficiency defense (87.3), seventh in total defense (272.0 ypg), ninth in rushing defense (93.1 ypg) and 18th in passing defense (178.9 ypg).
He also played all four quarters versus Arizona in the 2009 Holiday Bowl, helping Nebraska record the first shutout in the Holiday Bowl’s 32-year history, as well as the first shutout in school bowl history. He earned unanimous first-team All-Big 12 honors and the Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Nationally, he was named the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, the recipient of the Bill Willis Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. He was also a finalist for the Lott Trophy, Walter Camp Award, and Heisman Trophy.
On December 3, 2009, Suh was named as one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Award. On November 24, 2009, Suh was named one of three finalists for the 2009 Outland Trophy, alongside Mike Iupati and Russell Okung. On November 10, Suh was selected one of four finalists for the 2009 Lombardi Award, the first Cornhusker to receive this honor since Dominic Raiola in 2000. In October 2009, Suh was named to The Sporting News and CBS Sports midseason All-American team. Suh began season at No. 3 on Rivals.com′s preseason defensive tackle power ranking. He was also named to the 2009 Outland Trophy watch list.
On December 7, 2009, Suh was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Later that evening, Suh was named the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner as the top defensive player in the nation. CBS Sportsline also named Suh their Defensive Player of the Year. The Touchdown Club of Columbus named Suh the winner of the Bill Willis Trophy on December 9, 2009. That same evening Suh won the Lombardi Award for the top collegiate lineman or linebacker.On December 11, at the ESPN College Football Awards show, Suh was selected as the winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player and took home the Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman. Suh finished fourth in the Heisman race, accumulating 815 points, which is the highest total by a fourth-place finisher for the Heisman Trophy in its history. He was also one of four unanimous selections to the AP First-team All-America in 2009. Suh was named the 2009 AP Player of Year, becoming the first defensive player to receive the award in its history.
Suh was widely considered to be one of the best prospects available in the draft.ESPN.com’s draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., described Suh as “maybe the most dominating defensive tackle I’ve seen in 32 years” and projected him to go #1 overall. Suh was seen as an ideal fit at either defensive tackle in a 4–3 defense or as a defensive end in a 3–4 defense.
For off-the-field marketing activities, Suh signed with The Agency Sports Management & Marketing, where Russ Spielman served as lead agent. At the NFL Combine, Suh bench pressed 225 lbs 32 times and had a 35½ inch vertical leap, the highest for a defensive tackle since Al Lucas (36 in) in 2000.
2010 season: Rookie year
On August 3, Suh agreed to a five-year contract with the Lions,.On September 12, Suh had his first sack against Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. On October 10, during a game against the St. Louis Rams, he recorded his first and only, as of 2019, career interception off Sam Bradford. Suh scored the first touchdown of his NFL career against the Washington Redskins on October 31, 2010, on a recovery of a Rex Grossman fumble.
After an injury to Lions kicker Jason Hanson, the Lions had Suh attempt an extra point on November 7, 2010, against the New York Jets. However, Suh missed the extra point when the ball hit the right upright.
For the 2010 season, Suh led the Lions, all rookies, and all defensive tackles in sacks with 10. He was picked as a starter for the Pro Bowl, becoming the first Lions rookie since Barry Sanders to be picked as a Pro Bowl starter.He missed the game, however, due to shoulder surgery. On January 25, 2011, Suh was named to the All-Pro Team. He was also named the Sporting News Rookie of the Year, the Pro Football Weekly and Pro Football Writers of America Rookie of the Year, the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, and the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Suh was named a Pro Bowl alternate for the NFC after the 2011 NFL season. He finished the 2011 season with 4 sacks, a pass defended, and 26 tackles.
Suh finished 2012 with 8 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 25 tackles in 16 games (15 starts).
Suh racked up 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks in the 2014 season. Suh played in the Wild Card matchup against the Cowboys and shad two sacks.
On March 11, 2015, the Miami Dolphins announced that they had signed Suh to a six-year deal.The contract made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, passing Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt.
Suh started all 16 games in 2015, finishing the season with 61 tackles, six sacks, and five passes defended. He was ranked 40th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
In 2016, Suh started all 16 games with 72 tackles, 5 sacks, and 6 passes defended. He was ranked 55th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
Suh finished the season with 48 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He was ranked 61st by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.
On March 26, 2018, Suh signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams.
Suh finished the season with 59 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The Rams finished the season with 13 wins and earned the second seed in the NFC. In the Divisional Round against the Dallas Cowboys, Suh recorded 4 tackles. In the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, Suh had 4 tackles and 1.5 sacks as the Rams posted a 26-23 overtime victory and Suh reached the Super Bowl for the first time in his career. In the Super Bowl, Suh recorded 2 tackles in the Rams 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
Suh signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on May 23, 2019. In Week 4, during a 55-40 win over the Los Angeles Rams, Suh recovered a fumble caused by a strip sack by teammate Shaquil Barrett on Jared Goff and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown, the second of his career. In Week 12, during a 35-22 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Suh scored the third fumble return touchdown of his career off of a strip sack caused by teammate Jason Pierre-Paul on Matt Ryan. In the process Suh tied a Buccaneers franchise record for the most fumbles returned for touchdowns in a season held by Ronde Barber with his second. In Week 13, during a 28-11 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Suh had 2 tackles and recovered a forced fumble by teammate Carl Nassib.