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ASU LB Merlin Robertson named nation’s Defensive Player of the Week

As Arizona State players celebrate a game-winning field goal, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes (48) and defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk (72) walk off the field at the end of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Michigan State 16-13. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It was quite the Saturday night for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Herm Edwards’ team beat No. 15 Michigan State at home on national TV 16-13, and the next day, they were ranked in the AP’s Top 25 poll.

More accolades followed, including a big one for a quick-rising star on the defense.

Freshman linebacker Merlin Robertson was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.

Robertson had nine tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and one pass breakup. The linebacker stepped up the most when the game counted, recording seven of his nine tackles and all of his sacks in the second half.

It was not hard to miss Robertson on the field at 6-foot-3 and roughly 240 pounds as an outside linebacker.

Robertson was a big-time commitment for the Sun Devils’ recruiting class. He was ranked as the No. 129 overall prospect in the 2018 class by 247 Sports and the eighth-best outside linebacker.

Robertson is the third ASU player to win the award on either side of the field, joining former quarterback Andrew Walter (11/7/04) and former wide receiver Jaelen Strong (10/514).

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