ASU’s Todd Graham wins Pac-12 Coach of the Year
Arizona State’s run to the Pac-12 Championship game has earned
the Sun Devils plenty of hardware.
Todd Graham was named the Pac-12 coach of the year on Monday and
defensive end Will Sutton became the second player to repeat as
defensive player of the year after leading the 11th-ranked Sun
Devils to 10 wins and a spot in the Pac-12 title game on
Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey was the Pac-12 offensive player of the
year and UCLA two-way star Myles Jack was the offensive and
defensive freshman of the year, the first time that’s happened
since the awards were added in 2008.
Graham led Arizona State to eight wins, including its first
victory in a bowl since 2007, in his first season in the desert and
topped that this season by getting the Sun Devils within a game of
their first Rose Bowl since 1997.
Arizona State had six players on the first team to match
Stanford, the Sun Devils’ opponent in the conference championship
”I’m obviously extremely honored to receive that,” Graham
said. ”I can tell you, that’s an honor that’s reflective of our
staff, coaching staff recognition. I’m very proud of our guys and
what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
A senior, Sutton joins Washington defensive tackle Steve Emtman
(1990-91) as the only players to repeat as the conference player of
the year after another superb season on Arizona State’s line.
Though his numbers were down from a year ago, Sutton was one of
the nation’s most disruptive players, finishing the regular season
with 10.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks, and had the
game-sealing interception in a close road win over Utah.
”When I got a call from Coach Graham last night, I saw that it
was him and thought I was in trouble and wasn’t sure I should
answer it or not,” Sutton said. ”I never thought I’d get the
defensive player of the year twice. My numbers are down a little
bit, but we’re winning so it didn’t matter to me. Winning this is
Carey was an All-American last season after leading the nation
in rushing yards per game and was just as good this season to
become Arizona’s first offensive player of the year.
Despite teams gearing up to stop him, the junior ran for 1,716
yards and 18 touchdowns with a per-game average of 156, which was
second nationally to Boston College’s Andre Williams.
Jack started the season as a linebacker, but became a two-way
player when UCLA’s coaches put him in at running back against
Arizona on Nov. 9. He ran for 120 yards, including a 66-yard
touchdown that sealed the game, and has been in the Bruins’
backfield ever since.
Jack had 70 tackles and an interception as a linebacker and ran
for 267 yards – with a 7.2 per-carry average – and seven touchdowns
as a running back.