TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University is one of only two schools to have multiple football student-athletes tabbed as candidates for the Senior CLASS Award as senior safety Alden Darby and senior defensive tackle Will Sutton were both selected.
ASU and Duke both placed a pair of representatives on the 30-person list, which recognizes student-athletes who excel both on and off the field, and have notable achievement in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January.
Darby, a native of Long Beach, Calif., is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in communications and sociology. He was one of 42 student-athletes from across the country to be named to the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is given to individuals who excel in the classroom, on the field and around the community
He is heavily involved in the Scholar Baller leadership and outreach program, where he helps teach and mentor students at South Mountain High School, Academy of Excellence and Cesar Chavez High School. The curriculum ranges from developing championship character to creating a strong sense of self worth and becoming a great leader.
A team captain, Darby was the first Sun Devil to earn the privilege of wearing the Pat Tillman Practice Jersey, which head coach Todd Graham awards to those who embody the positive characteristics of the football program and university. He has been instrumental in influencing his teammates and other student-athletes to become more involved in the community and routinely leads a contingent of student-athletes in community service and outreach events.
A three-year letterman and an All-Pac-12 Second Team selection in 2012, Darby has 145 career tackles, six career interceptions for a 194 return yards, and seven pass deflections. He played a pivotal role in a defensive backfield that ranked third nationally in pass defense and 10th in passing efficiency defense, which were both tops in the Pac-12, and also finished the season with 21 interceptions, a mark that was tied for fourth in the nation.
Sutton, a 2012 consensus All-American, returned to ASU for his senior season to earn his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on communications and sociology.
A three-year letterman from Corona, Calif., he was named the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and earned the prestigious Morris Trophy, as well as Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Defensive MVP, this past season. He posted 63 tackles, including 23.5 for loss and 13 sacks, and finished his junior year ranked second in the nation in 1.92 tackles for loss per game and third nationally with 1.08 sacks per game.
Sutton served as the official starter for the 9th Annual Pat's Run Kids Run in April 2013 and was named a finalist for the Outstanding Student-Athlete NCAA award.