Who is your Pac-12 Defensive Player Of The Year and why?
Avinash Kunnath, Pacific Takes & California Golden Blogs (Cal): Will Sutton is a beast, don't get me wrong, but he was hobbled the last half of 2012. I'm giving this to Chase Thomas for leading a defense that held Oregon to 14 points in Autzen in one of the greatest defensive performances in college football history. Stanford also held the number one team in the country to 13 points in South Bend and had numerous other great performances. Thomas is one of the most versatile defenders out there, and along with his compatriots Skov, Tarpley and Murphy made life miserable for just about everyone in the Pac-12.
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: Will Sutton. Sutton led the conference in tackles-for-loss despite missing time due to injury and simply was the kind of game-changing defensive linemen that we so rarely get to watch in the Pac-12.
Ryan Rosenblatt, Bruins Nation: If Will Sutton was healthy all season this would be an easy choice, but despite missing time, he's still my pick. He led the Pac-12 in tackles-for-loss, covered for an Arizona St. defense that wasn't really that good and was the only single defensive player in the conference that would frighten me.
Brad Denny, House of Sparky: The Pac-12 coaches got it right when they gave ASU defensive tackle Will Sutton the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. After years of waiting for him to play to his potential, he exploded in 2012 and made offenses pay. His blend of size, speed and strength made him unblockable for most of the season, making him the correct choice here.
Kevin Zimmerman, Arizona Desert Swarm: Chase Thomas, who did everything in his power to give the Stanford Cardinal a shot at winning the Pac-12. Had it not been for a pretty awful offense early in the year, I could see this team running the table. Giving up 20 points to Notre Dame and 17 to Washington in two losses isn't a shameful thing, and the win against Oregon was the ultimate testament to Thomas' leadership.
Michael Preston, CougCenter: Chase Thomas is the guy although it's close with Sutton. Thomas' defense kept Stanford in a lot of games their offense looked lost (paging Josh Nunes at Washington) and helped slam the door on Oregon. Although they gave up an awful lot of yards to Johnathan Franklin, the Stanford defense and Thomas did just enough to win the Pac-12 Championship.
Pacific Takes & Pac Hoops: I was so overwhelmingly impressed with the individual efforts I saw in key moments by Will Sutton that I'm giving it to him. When the Devils needed a play, he made it. That's what POYs do.,
David Piper, Addicted to Quack: Trent Murphy. The most productive player on the best defense in the league. Roughly the same stats as Will Sutton, but in far more meaningful games.