Sometimes, a player's value is best illustrated when he is not in the game. That has been the case for Will Sutton over the last two weeks.
With him anchoring their defense, the Sun Devils posted one of the top defenses in the country, ranking among the top 10 nationally in a number of key categories, and more importantly, helping the team to a 5-1 record. Over the last two games that he has missed, ASU has surrendered 88 points and 618 yards rushing, and not surprisingly, has lost both games.
Beyond such clear-cut numbers, Sutton's value received additional validation on Monday as he was named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation's best defensive player each year. Sutton will learn on November 19th whether he will be among the three finalists for this prestigious award.
One the year, Sutton has made 40 tackles (14.5 for loss), 8.5 sacks, and forced two fumbles. He currently ranks fourth in the nation in tackles-for-loss and fifth in sacks.