NIU defensive end Sutton Smith named AP first team All-American


Northern Illinois University defensive end Sutton Smith added to his list of All-America accolades this season when the Huskie junior was named to four additional teams Monday.


Smith was named a first team All-American by the Associated Press, ESPN and collegefootball, while garnering second team honors by the Football Writer’s Association of America. The third Huskie to be named first team on the Associated Press’ All-America Team, Smith joins Leshon Johnson and Jordan Lynch who earned the honor in 1993 and 2013, respectively. Smith is also the first Huskie to earn ESPN first team All-America honors.


Smith became the first NIU player to be selected as a first team All-American in back-to-back years when he was named first team All-America by last week, he also collected second team honors from the Walter Camp Foundation. He leads the Football Bowl Subdivision in sacks with a school-record 15 and is second in the country in tackles for loss with 24.5.


The 2018 Vern Smith Award winner (MAC MVP), Smith led an NIU defense that set the school record for team sacks in a season with 50. In addition to his ability to stop opposing offenses, Smith, who earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second-consecutive year, also scored a pair of touchdowns in 2018. His first came after he blocked his second punt of the year in NIU’s win over Toledo, while his second, an 85-yard fumble return for a TD, came at Western Michigan.


A native of St. Charles, Mo., Smith ranks third on NIU’s all-time sacks list with 30, while his 56 career tackles for loss ranks second to Larry English, who amassed 63 in his four-year career at NIU. English is also NIU’s all-time sack leader with 31.5.

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