ASU Football: Enjoy Will Sutton's Dominance While It Lasts, However Long That Is

(Photo: ASU)

The WillDaBeast's season-long rampage ended with a host of awards and honors, as well as membership into an elite group.

Woody Green set records that still stand 40 years later.

Mike Haynes was so great that Frank Kush called him a "luxury" and is in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Randall McDaniel is quite possibly the greatest interior lineman that the sport has ever seen.

Terrell Suggs didn't re-write the NCAA record book. He tore it up, set it on fire and planted a pitchfork through its ashes.

These are just a few of a select group Sun Devil icons that form the elite of the elite of this proud Arizona State program. Over the course of the history of ASU football, a tradition dating back to the 1890s, nearly 1,500 men have taken the football field for the school. Of that large group, just 14 have had the honor of calling themselves a "Consensus All-American".

Well, that was until this week.

Slide over, Mike Richardson. Let's make some space, Juan Roque. You've got company.

Thanks to one selection to one All-American team after another, junior defensive tackle Will Sutton has now become the 15th member of this iconic group, cementing his part in the pantheon of Sun Devil lore. The rise of Sutton from potential star to legend has been nothing short of remarkable...if long-anticipated.

"You could tell, from the first time he lined up, that Will Sutton possessed the type of explosiveness and capability to literally crush bones," remembered Sutton's and former teammate Bo Moos.

Yet despite possessing such talent, it took Sutton some time to reach the level many expected, and to start racking up that bone-crushing body count.

For many players, the most damning adjective that can be applied to them is "potential". That simply means that they haven't done it when it counts. He made two starts in 2009 before sitting out the 2010 due to academic ineligibility. Sutton returned last year for a solid, if unspectacular, sophomore season.

Coming into 2012, Sutton was bursting with potential but lacking in production.

But then he made a sack. Then a few tackles for loss. He embarrassed one offensive line, then another. He crushed hapless running backs, and nearly killed a few quarterbacks. Sutton single-handedly blew up one offensive gameplan after another. Even as teams adjusted their protections to stop him, his reign of terror continued. The only thing that could stop him was a knee injury, but after missing a game and a half, he resumed his path of destruction, racking up five tackles-for-loss over the final three regular season games.

As the dust settled in Tucson and the Sun Devils raised the Territorial Cup, Sutton found himself with 10.5 sacks, 20 tackles-for-loss, and newfound national recognition.

Suddenly, Tempe's best kept secret was out. Sutton's tremendous growth, and the associated acclaim and attention, now has Sun Devil fans facing a scary possibility.

Is there just 60 minutes left of Sutton's Sun Devil career? Maybe.

From the moment the final whistle blew after ASU's win over Arizona, Sun Devil fans in attendance showered Sutton with chants of "one more year", setting off countless discussions about whether Sutton will forgo his senior year and enter next April's NFL Draft.

Stop. Not now.

There will be plenty of time for speculation following ASU's bowl battle with Navy.

Players of Sutton's caliber who have seasons like this are rare. Oh...so...rare, as the numbers above illustrate.

We're witnessing history here. Before our eyes is a player who is is playing the game of football a few levels above everyone else, and damn, is it fun to watch. Whether we get one more game of Sutton in maroon-and-gold (and black, and white) or 14, watching him ply his craft and make opposing offenses look silly is special.

Sun Devil Nation may not see a season like this for a long time. Or they may see it soon. It's impossible to know, which is why wasting time on worrying about an encore takes away from the main event.

Just sit back and enjoy the carnage.

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