Sutton named Pac-12 Defensive Player of Year

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.

The
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