Prospect of the Week: Terrell Suggs
Athletic, explosive and a player that wreaks havoc is probably the best way to describe Terrell Suggs, a player that has impacted the Arizona State program from the day he stepped on campus.
Playing with the first unit as a true freshman in 2000, Suggs made his presence known from the word "go" and became just the second true freshman in school history to start the initial game of the season and was eventually named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after a campaign which included 48 tackles and a team leading 16 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Coupled with those numbers were one interception, three pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Keeping the momentum going as a sophomore Suggs was a third-team All-American and a first-team Pac-10 selection after tallying 42 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and leading the conference with 10 sacks.
Still on a rampage, thus far this season Suggs has already notched 17.5 sacks for the year, which leads the nation and besides his sack totals Suggs has registered 48 tackles with 24 tackles for loss, one interception and two pass defenses. His performance against the University of Washington last Saturday was stunning as a Husky offense, which usually rushes the ball with precision, was held to 42-yards on the ground thanks to Suggs who totaled a game-high 12 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 which were quarterback sacks.
Noted as an "undersized" pass rusher, Suggs has started all but a pair of games since his college career began three years ago and has proved his durability.
A fluid athlete that makes plays in every direction of the field, Suggs is effective when asked to twist or stunt up front, collapsing laterally defending the run or dropping into pass coverage on zone blitz situations. He is effective in an area upwards of ten yards off the line of scrimmage and gets depth on his pass drops when asked to play off the line. His ability to redirect or immediately alter his angle of attack towards the ball carrier is astounding as is his acceleration and speed in either a straight line or laterally. Quick off the snap, he uses solid hand technique to stay off blocks and possess a tremendous closing burst bearing down on the quarterback or chasing the ball carrier from the backside. Also impressive about Suggs is the effort he gives as well as the wherewithal he displays on the field.
Is he an every down lineman at the next level? Probably not, but he could confuse opposing offenses even more with the ability play different areas on the field as he'll impact the game in a three point stance, standing up over tackle or even off the line if put at linebacker and asked to play in space. He's a combines the versatility of Chris Slade with the pass rush ability of Hugh Douglas to this point, though he's almost a full step better then those two.
This week offers a another great test as Arizona State square against Washington State out in the Puloose for the outright lead in the Pac Ten conference and the edge towards the Rose Bowl. It will be an even greater challenge for Suggs who'll be going up a tough Wazzu offensive line and chasing down one of the better scrambling passers in college, Jason Gesser.
Will he leave for the NFL? The odds are he will from what we hear. So where does he end up? Well with more teams employing a three-four defense, a scheme that suits his talents perfectly, it is unlikely Suggs lasts past the 12th pick in next April's first round as prospects of his talents, those that disrupt the offense and destroy plays with regularity, are in high demand on draft day!