ASU coach Graham: Will Sutton 'very deserving' of All-America honors
As the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Sutton became the focus of opposing team, with offenses keying on the 6-foot-1, 304-pound defensive tackle.
Before the snap, where was No. 90, who had 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss last year, lining up?
"The protection always slid to him. Obviously, he got double-teamed a lot. We tried to do some things to keep (teams) from doing that," ASU coach Todd Graham said. "He learned that it ain't about your stats, man. It's about the team success. He's become a great team player and a great team leader, really valuable; and had a better year than he did last year. I know a lot people might dispute that, but in my opinion, he did no doubt about that."
Others agree with you, Coach.
The Associated Press named Sutton, who recorded four sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss, a first team All-America for the second straight season.
"What a great honor. Really proud of him," Graham said.
Sutton, one of seven Sun Devil football players to graduate Tuesday and thus unavailable for comment after practice, is the 15th AP First Team All-America selection in school history and only the third to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons, joining safeties David Fulcher and Mike Richardson.
"I remember last year when we sat down and he said, ‘Coach, what am I going to do if I come back?' I said, ‘You're going to do the same thing. You're going to do it again.' He said, ‘OK. I got that.' So, he believed me and he bought into that," Graham said.
"He made the right decision, the only decision that I can imagine him making. On the same hand, sometimes I've given guys advice in the past that I've told them that they should go out. I don't think it's one answer to every guy. It's what's best for them personally. And I know that what was best for him was to come back. He's going to have a great career ahead of him because he stayed, because he finished that degree that he promised his Mom he would do.
"Just really proud of him and how he's grown," Graham continued. "It's a big, big honor. He's very deserving of it."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
- More than all-access
- Mel Kiper Jr.: ASU's Sutton, Bradford could be taken on second or third day of draft
- ASU AD Ray Anderson: 'The love and the passion for Pat Tillman is palpable'
- Pat Tillman's death remembered 10 years later
- ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly caps spring with successful scrimmage performance
- Ray Anderson, ASU Athletic Director - Tuesday April 22Ray Anderson discusses Pat Tillman's legacy at ASU.
- Ray Anderson, Arizona State athletic director - Thursday April 17Ray Anderson talks about the new athletic fee and what it means for students. Also, what does it mea
- Gary Lane, ASU rugby coach - Friday April 11ASU rugby coach Gary Lane talks about his team's upcoming game against BYU.
- Chris Karpman, ASU Devils.com - Wednesday April 9ASU Devils.com Chris Karpman discusses the new student athletic fee.
- Ray Anderson, Arizona State athletic director - Wednesday April 9Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson discusses the new student athletic fee.