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Can Carl Bradford be the next Will Sutton?

ASU may have another top defensive player ready to bring home hardware next season.

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona State Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton was one of the best defensive players in the country in 2012, and ASU may have another ready to do the same in 2013. Sophomore linebacker Carl Bradford had a big season as Sutton drew attention from opposing offenses, matching some of the big lineman's impressive numbres.

Brad Denny of House of Sparky thinks Bradford is poised to have a similarly dominant season in his junior year. The linebacker has already proved his talent level, but it may be his work ethic that sets him apart:

First and foremost, a relentless work ethic is needed for any player to reach their maximum potential, and that is something that Bradford possesses. Throughout this past offseason and into the year, he worked tirelessly to learn his new position and improve his game. This effort did not go unnoticed by the team, as Bradford received the Tim Landers Iron Man Award at the team banquet on Saturday, an honor that goes to the "player who has displayed an exemplary work ethic in the weight room, on the field and in the community".

Bradford posted 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2012. He also had 72 total tackles, one interception, four passes defensed, and three forced fumbles. His statistics were a dramatic improvement from his freshman season, when he played sparingly.

His efforts helped the Sun Devils improve on defense and finish with a 7-5 record, a one-win improvement from the year prior.