Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton was named the Pac-12’s Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year on Monday.
Sutton, a junior, finished the regular season with a conference-best 20 tackles for loss and a team-leading 10.5 sacks, ranking third in the conference and 12th nationally in that category. Sutton also racked up 58 tackles on the year, finishing sixth on the team despite missing two games with a bone bruise on his right knee.
For his season, Sutton also earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 first-team defense Monday. He is ASU’s first conference Defensive Player of the Year since linebacker Dale Robinson won the award in 2005.
After Sutton left injured just two plays into ASU’s loss to Oregon on Oct. 18, it became apparent how important a role he played in ASU’s defense. The unit, according to coach Todd Graham, was left scrambling to adjust without Sutton, its foundation. He would miss the next game as well, a loss to UCLA.
Sutton suffered another injury in ASU’s win over Arizona on Friday, this time a foot injury. He left the game for treatment more than once but returned each time. Asked after the game if he had decided whether to return for his senior season or enter the NFL draft, Sutton said that he would decide after ASU’s bowl game, which is yet to be determined.
Sutton’s honors were not the only ones for ASU, as senior linebacker Brandon Magee and junior safety Alden Darby made the All-Pac-12 second-team defense. Magee, who was also named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, led the Sun Devils with 104 tackles this season, including 11.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. He ranked third in the nation in solo tackles with seven per game, including a career-high 17 against UA.
Darby had a breakout season, compiling 72 tackles, 5.5 for loss and two sacks. He also had three interceptions, including one he returned 66 yards for a touchdown against USC on Nov. 10. Darby also earned regular praise from Graham for his performance and hard work, so much so that Graham presented him with a camouflage Pat Tillman jersey to be worn in practice as a reward for his work on and off the field.
Senior punter Josh Hubner also garnered second-team honors as a specialist. Hubner ranked third in the nation with an average of 47.13 yards per punt and had 22 punts of more than 50 yards. Hubner, who Graham called the best punter in the country, was notably left off the list of finalists for the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s top punter.
ASU also had a slew of players earn All-Pac-12 honorable-mention recognition: sophomore linebacker Carl Bradford, senior cornerback Deveron Carr, junior tight end Chris Coyle, junior offensive lineman Evan Finkenberg, freshman running back D.J. Foster, junior running back Marion Grice, freshman defensive tackle Jaxon Hood, junior cornerback Osahon Irabor, senior safety Keelan Johnson, sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly and senior wide receiver Rashad Ross.
The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year was USC sophomore receiver Marqise. The freshmen of the year were Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota
and USC defensive end Leonard Williams.
Stanford’s David Shaw is coach of the year for the second year in a row.
Oregon and Stanford each had five first-team selection, while Oregon State had four. USC’s Lee was the only unanimous selection.
first team consists of 14 seniors, five juniors, six sophomores and one
freshman. Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and Stanford linebacker
Chase Thomas are repeat selections form 2011. UCLA punter Jeff Locke and
USC offensive lineman Kaled Holmes were named first team All-Pac-12 and
first team Pac-12 All-Academic.
2012 ALL-PAC-12 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM
First Team Offense
QB Marcus Mariota, Fr., Oregon RB Kenjon Barner, Sr., Oregon RB Ka’Deem Carey, So., Arizona WR Marqise Lee, So., USC WR Markus Wheaton, Sr., Oregon State TE Zach Ertz, Sr., Stanford OL Hroniss Grasu, So., Oregon OL Khaled Holmes, Sr., USC OL Brian Schwenke, Sr., California OL Xavier Su’a-Filo, So., UCLA OL David Yankey, Jr., Stanford Second Team Offense
QB Matt Scott, Sr., Arizona RB Johnathan Franklin, Sr., UCLA RB Stepfan Taylor, Sr., Stanford WR Austin Hill, So., Arizona WR Robert Woods, Jr., USC TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, So., Washington OL Jeff Baca, Sr., UCLA OL David Bakhtiari, Jr., Colorado OL Sam Brenner, Sr., Utah OL Kevin Danser, Sr., Stanford OL Sam Schwartzstein, Sr., Stanford
First Team Defense
DL Scott Crichton, So., Oregon State DL Dion Jordan, Sr., Oregon DL Star Lotulelei, Sr., Utah DL Will Sutton, Jr., Arizona State LB Anthony Barr, Jr., UCLA LB Trent Murphy, Sr., Stanford LB Chase Thomas, Sr., Stanford DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, So., Oregon DB Joran Poyer, Sr., Oregon State DB Ed Reynolds, Jr., Stanford DB Desmond Trufant, Sr., Washington
Second Team Defense
DL Henry Anderson, Jr., Stanford DL Morgan Breslin, Jr., USC DL Ben Gardner, Sr., Stanford DL Datone Jones, Sr., UCLA LB Kiko Alonso, Sr., Oregon LB Michael Clay, Sr., Oregon LB Brandon Magee, Sr., Arizona State DB Deone Bucannon, Jr., Washington State DB Alden Darby, Jr., Arizona State DB T.J. McDonald, Sr., USC DB Nickell Robey, Jr., USC
First Team Specialists
PK Vince D’Amato, Jr., California P Jeff Locke, Sr., UCLA RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah ST Jordan Jenkins, Sr., Oregon State
Second Team Specialists
PK Andrew Furney, Jr., Washington State P Josh Hubner, Sr., Arizona State RS Marqise Lee, So., USC ST David Allen, Sr., UCLA
Offensive Player of the Year: Marqise Lee, WR, USC Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Will Sutton, DL, Arizona State Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Leonard Williams, DL, USC Coach of the Year: David Shaw, Stanford