The Final Cockdown: #90 Chaz Sutton

Kevin C. Cox

We soldier forth with starting weakside defensive end Chaz "The Other DE" Sutton.

Chaz Sutton

Redshirt Senior Defensive End
6'5", 263 lbs.
Savannah, GA

Recruitment:
Class of 2008 (Enrolled in 2009)
4 Stars, #1 Prep School Weak-side Defensive End
Other offers: Florida

College Career:
Sutton's ascent to the top of the depth chart serves as a nice lesson in player development, perseverance and patience. A three-star out of high school, Sutton signed with South Carolina over Florida but spent the 2008 season at Fork Union Prep before joining the team in fall of 2009. That year, he saw minimal field time before a hamstring injury netted him a medical redshirt. While the 2010 season opener against Southern Miss is remembered by most as Marcus Lattimore's first game as a Gamecock, it also yielded Sutton's first career sack. His other big play that season came in the blowout against Troy, when he returned an interception for a touchdown. His playing time increased in 2011, but it wasn't til last season when he put up breakout numbers and established himself as the clearcut heir to Devin Taylor's spot on the line. A benefactor of Carolina's four-end rabbit package, Sutton racked up five sacks, seven tackles for loss and forced two of fumbles in 2012.

2012 Stats:
13 games, 1 start
25 tackles
7 TFL
5 sacks
2 FF

2013 Outlook:

"Clowney gets all the attention, but don't forget about that other defensive end, Chaz Sutton!" — Every color commentator calling a USC game in 2013

It's only May, but there's already a fairly established narrative amongst prognosticators that Chaz Sutton should be able to stroll cheerfully into backfields everywhere, winking as he races past negligent defensive linesmen who've smushed into an 8-legged anti-Clowney partition. That said, I recall similar rhetoric from last offseason, and Devin Taylor didn't exactly capitalize. (Nor did Clowney suffer, thankfully.) That said, Clowney's legend has only expanded so perhaps Sutton will have the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. WILL HE? I say yes! Sutton's got the measurables and career trajectory to suggest he's primed for a big year, and what with Deke Adam's seek-and-destroy coaching style, don't be surprised to see plenty of Clowney-fleeing ballcarriers become painfully familiar with #90.

Trivia:
Sutton was born in 1989 which, unless I'm missing someone, makes him our only starter to be born before 1990. In fact, a brief scan tells me he may be the only 80s baby in our entire two deep (although I may have overlooked someone.) I'm assuming we have at least one walk-on who's 25 or something, but who knows? Sutton may well be the last Gamecock player born pre-1990—that is until the next Tim "Pops" Frisby comes along.

Possible Todd Ellis play-by-play call:
"James Franklin takes the snap, scans the field, finds no one but he's got to get rid of it—and there's #90, tearing him down for the sack! Get it, Chaz! We need to issue a warning, folks: Those who linger in the pocket will experience Sutton Impact!"

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