NFL Draft Prospect Interview – Will Sutton, DT Arizona State

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Dec 30, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton (90) tackles Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Kenny Williams (34) during the 2013 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Texas Tech defeated Arizona State 37-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

PS: With guys like Geno Atkins having such success in the NFL at your height and people have had to mention a name like John Randle to you.  Is there a guy or a couple of guys that you look up to as you prepare to go into the NFL?

WS: I just like watching DLinemen, period, no matter how big they are.  You gotta be able to learn from all different styles.  I watch Vince Wilfork as well, even though I’m not a true nose like him.  It’s just the art of being a DLineman.  I’m gonna watch every single one and see how they’re so successful.

PS: How did you end up choosing Arizona State being from Corona, CA?

WS: We had players there previously.  The year before, we had three players go.  And it just felt like home.  It’s about a four to five hour drive away from Corona and we got to play under Coach (Dennis) Erickson, a coach who is going to go to the Hall of Fame.  They just welcomed us with open arms.  All my life I’ve been hearing I’m too small, but coming to ASU, they gave me a chance and I appreciate them for that.

PS: Did you follow in the footsteps of Vontaze Burfict and that class?

WS: Me and Vontaze are the same class.  He was originally committed to (USC) SC and before our start game, I had commited to ASU and then he decided to de-commit and commit to ASU.

PS: Is there a sense that Arizona State players get misjudged because of the reputation that comes with the school?

WS: That’s just the situation we’re in.  And you know we gotta take it upon ourselves to go out there and prove people wrong.  Unfortunately for him, my boy Tez is getting the title for being a bad guy, which he isn’t.  He’s completely the opposite of what everyone thought of him.

PS: Are there people doing that to you, looking at your senior year and assuming you’re lazy or simply satisfied with your junior year as opposed to trying to live up to what the NFL wanted you to be?

WS: Yea and a lot of talk came out about being lazy, which wasn’t the reason.  It was just, I gained weight and I gained the weight because I was told to and I thought it was the right thing to do.  I did everything, all of my offseason workouts with no problems.  I got stronger.  I’m just not someone who played at a heavy weight.

PS: Not only that, but you’re also in that bad group.  It doesn’t look right, but you’re a phenomenal athlete.

WS: (laughs) Yea.  I’m not gonna pass the eye test, but you know, turn on the film and you see me workout, you see me move, it’s like, oh, that’s not what he looks like.  What happens with a lot of guys is they get judged by the eye test sometimes it benefits them and sometimes it doesn’t.

PS: What drives you to have the motor you do?

WS: I just love this game and I just want to go out there and be the best.  I’ve seen so many people play this game and not really have the love for this game; just take it for granted.  I’m not that type of person.  I’m a person who loves the game, gonna go out there and work and gonna compete to the best of my ability.  I hate losing.  I’m the type of person that hates losing.

PS: Did you grow up as an SC fan?

WS: Oh yea.

PS: So how satisfying was it to go and not only beat SC, but you fired their coach?

WS: (laughs) Pretty much.  Yea, it was pretty good.  It felt good.

PS: Are you guys going to give back that Wisconsin win with the fishy PAC-12 officiating at the end?

WS: We’re keeping that.  I felt like, you know, back when Coach E was around, we would have lost the game in that type of situation.  Since Coach Graham came and turned the program around, we started playing in close games and we came out the victor in close games.  We usually came out as the team that lost because we’d either get a stupid penalty or somebody just doesn’t do their job.  Coach Graham was the type of person to not let that happen.

PS: What is it about playing at home for Arizona State?  You guys just seem to be a different team playing in Tempe.

WS: It’s fun.  We have so much in Arizona.  We’ve got a bunch of professional teams.  We got all types of things, but our fan base, especially our student section just loves ASU football.  Playing at home, we have the music blasting.  Out of all of the stadiums we’ve been to, no one blasts pregame music like us.  We choose the playlist.  When we run out of the tunnel, it’s dark.  When we run out, the whole tunnel is filled with smoke and we have the fireworks going off; the atmosphere is great.

PS: To me, the game you guys won at UCLA.  That’s a game Arizona State normally loses.  You just hadn’t been able to get over that hump.  What did it mean for you guys to go beat UCLA in Westwood?

WS: Oh, great.  Being a kid from Southern California, I had a bunch of family watching that game and it was a fight for the PAC-12 South.  It came down to our two teams again, like the year before, they came to Tempe and it was a close one as well.  Even the year before when we were down there, they kicked a field goal to win the game, so it’s always been a tough battle between us and UCLA.