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November 27, 2012

Sutton wins Pac-12 Defensive Player of Year

One of the nation's most impacting interior pass rushers, Will Sutton on Monday became Arizona State's first conference Defensive Player of the Year since Dale Robinson in 2005.

Sutton, a 6-foot-1, 280 pound junior, was 12th in the nation in sacks and 5th in tackles for loss as of Sunday despite missing essentially all of two games and playing at less than full strength in another with a knee injury.

With 10.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss, Sutton finished 3rd in sacks and 1st in tackles for loss in the Pac-12, spearheading an ASU defense that relies on its ability to pressure the opposition in a manner that takes stress of its secondary.

It is an approach that enabled ASU to finish first in pass defense and first in pass efficiency defense in the league, dramatic improvements from last season, when ASU was at the bottom of both categories nationally.

With fans chanting "one more year" for Sutton following ASU's Territorial Cup win over Arizona, the defensive tackle said that he is undecided what he will do and won't make a decision until after ASU's bowl appearance.

Sutton tweeted on Monday asking people to stop bothering him about what decision he will make. He was unavailable for comment following the award announcement.

The fifth ASU player to win Defensive Player of the League honors, Sutton is a Bednarik Award finalist and the lone first-teamer for the Sun Devils on the all-conference squad.

ASU senior linebacker Brandon Magee, junior safety Alden Darby and senior punter Josh Hubner were second-team selections. Magee also earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording a career-best 17 tackles Friday against Arizona.

The Sun Devils had 11 players earn all league honorable mention. On defense, senior safety Keelan Johnson, senior cornerback Deveron Carr, junior cornerback Osahon Irabor, freshman defensive tackle Jaxon Hood and sophomore linebacker Carl Bradford were honored; on offense, junior tight end Chris Coyle, junior offensive tackle Evan Finkenberg, junior running back Marion Grice, sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly and freshman running back D.J. Foster were selected; and on special teams returner Rashad Ross received a nod.


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