At the start of 2017 very few people had heard of Sutton Smith, a former running back turned defensive end for the Northern Illinois Huskies. But, just 15 months later, he’s become a household name.
Today, he announced on social media that he would be forgoing his senior season at NIU and, while he doesn’t say he’s declaring for the NFL draft, it would certainly appear that way.
Yesterday I informed my coaches and teammates I will forego my RS SR season. I’m sincerely grateful to NIU, the entire coaching staff & my teammates for their support. It truly means a lot. To the Huskie Nation - THANK YOU! I'm excited to represent NIU in my next chapter. pic.twitter.com/5dhVMZuC9Z— Sutton Smith (@suttonsmith5) December 19, 2018
For the past two seasons, Smith has wreaked havoc on MAC and P5 quarterbacks amassing 134 tackles, 56.5 tackles for loss, 30 sacks, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, and scoring four touchdowns.
His 56.5 TFL ranked first all-time at NIU while his 30 sacks was good enough for third all-time, just 1.5 shy of Larry English’s record of 31.5.
He broke the Huskies’ season-season sack record this year with an NCAA-leading 15...which is one better than the old record of 14, which he set last year.
And while NIU fans were hoping for one more year with him anchoring the defense, the other MAC schools are certainly letting out a sigh of relief.
We wish him the best of luck in the future and say thank you for two amazing seasons of defensive MACtion!