Thursday, July 31, 2008

N.C. State's Sutton is shining example

At N.C. State’s team awards banquet last season, defensive coordinator Mike Archer had fond words for cornerback Jimmie Sutton.

Last season Sutton lost his starting job at the midseason open date. After that, it seemed he didn’t have much to play for as a senior.

But he continued to work hard in practice. In the North Carolina game, the Wolfpack needed him in the second half, and he made a game-clinching deflection in the end zone in a 31-27 win.

“You had a chance to beat North Carolina for the first time in your career,” Archer said he told Sutton at the banquet, “and you did it because of the play you made, and I respect you for it.”

As N.C. State begins preseason practice today, Archer figures he will use Sutton as an example at some point for players who get discouraged.

“Jimmie was sat down, and Jimmie comes back and makes maybe the biggest play of the year,” Archer said. “We benched him and he still played. He never hung his head.”

Preseason practice is a long ordeal for players. The August heat can be brutal, and the opener (N.C. State starts August 28 at South Carolina) can seem very far away.

At that time, it’s nice to have an example like Jimmie Sutton to rejuvenate your players.

– Ken Tysiac