Northern Illinois University defensive end Sutton Smith collected his second major national first team All-America honor Monday when he was named to the Football Writer's Association of America (FWAA) All-America team. In addition, Smith, who leads the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss, earned a spot on the Associated Press' second team All-America squad on Monday.
Smith joins running back LeShon Johnson (1993) and cornerback Shawun Lurry (2015) as the only NIU players ever chosen to the FWAA All-America team, which named its 74th team on Monday. The FWAA All-America team dates back to 1944, and the organization added a second team for the first time in 2012.
The sophomore from St. Charles, Mo. is the fifth player in NIU history to make the Associated Press first or second team, and is the first Huskie defender on the list. Previously, NIU's only first or second team AP All-Americans were Jordan Lynch (2nd team in 2012, 1st team in 2013), Michael Turner (2nd in 2003) and Johnson (1st in 1993). Five more NIU players have been named to the Associated Press' third team All-America squad.
In 2017, he broke an NIU school record for single season tackles for loss that stood at 20 since 1984 and finished the regular season with 28.5 TFLs. NIU's single season mark for quarterback sacks also fell by the wayside with the old mark of 12 held by Scott Kellar (1984) and Larry English (2006), surpassed by Smith's 14 sacks in 2017.