Dec. 15, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The honors continue to pour in for Northwestern running back Tyrell Sutton (Akron, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban), who was named the Offensive Freshman of the Year Thursday by The Sporting News.
In addition to TSN's top rookie honor, Sutton has been named the Offensive Freshman of the Year by College Football News and Scout.com, as well as a third-team All-America all-purpose back by Rivals.com. Earning the respective first- and second-team Rivals.com All-America honors at the all-purpose position were 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and UCLA running back, Maurice Drew. He also received honorable mention All-America honors at running back from The Pro Football Weekly.
Sutton, twice named the Rivals.com national freshman of the week, was one of just two freshmen named to the Rivals' team (out of 81 players), and the only true freshman on the squad.
Tabbed the consensus Big Ten Freshman of the Year last month, Sutton has already recorded the fourth-best rushing season in school history with 1,390 yards and 16 rushing TD's. His 6.0 yards per carry average is the second-best in single-season history among Northwestern players who have run for 1,000 or more yards.
Sutton also caught 37 passes for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He ranked sixth nationally in rushing yardage (126.4 ypg) and 12th nationally in all-purpose yardage (156.3 ypg).
Sutton also is being honored by his home state's Touchdown Club of Columbus. He will receive the organization's College Football Freshman of the Year award at its annual banquet on Saturday, Feb. 4 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Sporting News also announced its Freshman All-Big Ten team. Redshirt freshman Kevin Mims (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) earned one of the four spots on the defensive line while redshirt freshman Gerard Hamlett (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) landed on the team as the league's top rookie kick returner. Mims, along with true freshman safety Brendan Smith (Andover, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.) Prep) were tabbed honorable mention Freshman All-Americans by TSN.
Mims totaled 38 tackles as a defensive end and recorded one of the season's biggest defensive plays when he forced Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton to fumble deep in Wildcat territory. Northwestern turned the takeaway into an 86-yard fumble return for TD and a 21-7 lead.
Hamlett ranked sixth in the Big Ten and 37th nationally with a 24.1 yards per kickoff return average. He had a key and career-long 81-yard return against Wisconsin. Hamlett led all Big Ten freshmen in kickoff return average.
Smith moved into the Wildcats' starting lineup at safety at the start of Big Ten play and was making rapid progress until he suffered a knee sprain on an interception return at Michigan State. Smith sat out the next three games before returning to play in the regular season finale at Illinois. He finished the year with 27 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
Northwestern resumes practice this Monday, Dec. 19, in preparation for its game vs. UCLA in the 2005 Vitalis Sun Bowl on Dec. 30.