Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 2


Our countdown of the top 25 players in the 2012 season continues.

You can see our preseason top 25 here.

No. 2: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

2012 numbers: He recorded 63 tackles (an extremely impressive number for a defensive tackle), tallied 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss. He also broke up five passes and forced three fumbles.

Preseason ranking: Unranked.

Making the case for Sutton: It's rare that defensive linemen can completely alter games, let alone entire game plans. Sutton was that kind of player in 2012. He was literally a game-changer. With an explosive first-step from his tackle spot, no one in the league and few players nationally created more havoc in backfields than Sutton. He led the league in sacks and tackles for a loss per game and was honored with the league's Morris Trophy for top defensive lineman and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award. Between his sacks and TFLs, he accounted for 232 lost yards. Twelve of his sacks were solo jobs -- matched only by UCLA's Anthony Barr. Twenty-two of his tackles for a loss were solo -- matched by no one. Teams knew the consensus All-American was coming -- there just wasn't anything they could do to stop him. His 1.92 tackles for a loss were second nationally and he was third nationally with 1.08 sacks per game. He was crowned defensive MVP of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. With three teams that played in BCS bowl games last year on the 2013 docket (Wisconsin, Stanford, Notre Dame), the Sun Devils are fortunate to have Sutton back for another year after he opted to put the NFL off for another season. Once again, teams will know he's coming. Chances are, they won't be able to stop him.

No. 3: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

No. 4: Matt Scott, QB, Arizona

No. 5: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

No. 6: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon

No. 7: Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

No. 8: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

No. 9: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

No. 10: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State

No. 11: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

No. 12: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

No. 13: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

No. 14: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

No. 15: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

No. 16: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford

No. 17: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

No. 18: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

No. 19: David Yankey, OL, Stanford

No. 20: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

No. 21: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

No. 22: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

No. 23: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon

No. 24: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State

No. 25: Reggie Dunn, KR, Utah