Our countdown of the Pac-12’s Top 25 players from the 2013 season continues.
You can review our 2013 preseason Top 25 here.
No. 7: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
2013 numbers: Sutton had 48 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups.
Preseason ranking: No. 2
Making the case for Sutton: One of the recurrent stories of this season was fans asking "What's wrong with Will Sutton?" Fans asked that question, so reporters asked that question -- to Sun Devils coach Todd Graham as well as other Pac-12 coaches. Well, folks, the answer throughout the season and now is, "Nothing, really." The substantive support for that answer being, of course, when Pac-12 coaches -- perhaps surprisingly -- named Sutton Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. You simply can't argue with that: The guys who schemed against him said he was the best. He also was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press. Sutton's numbers were down in 2013 mostly because his numbers were ridiculous in 2012. Those 2012 numbers forced offensive line coaches to almost always commit two players to block Sutton, and that kept his stats down this fall. It's also notable that the Sun Devils defense as whole was statistically worse in 2013 compared the the 2012 season, though some might argue it was better but played a far tougher schedule. So Sutton slips a little in our top 25 but it's fair to say he still posted an excellent senior season.