The Pac-12 Conference announced the All-Conference teams yesterday in California, and there were no surprises with USC Trojans receiver Marqise Lee and Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Will Sutton receiving top honors.
The Defensive Player of the Year is named after somebody that everybody in Sun Devil Nation as well as the Conference knows, honors and respects—Pat Tillman.
For those that don't know, Tillman was a linebacker for Arizona State from 1994-97, was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the all-league team every year. The Academic All-American graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Marketing and has garnered several honors including the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Although Sutton was injured in the first series against Oregon, missed the game against UCLA and was at 75 percent strength against Oregon State, he leads the Pac-12 and ranks fifth in the FBS with 20 total tackles for loss and 1.82 per game.
Sutton ranks third in the conference and 12th in the FBS with .95 sacks per game (10.5 total) and heads up a stout defensive squad that is second in the nation in both sacks per game and tackles for loss per game.
The Bednarik Award finalist is the fifth Sun Devil to receive the prestigious honor following in the footsteps of the aforementioned Tillman and joining past standouts like Adam Archuleta, Terrell Suggs and Dale Robinson.