This is the fifth part in a series of football season preview articles by campus correspondent Luke Swanson taking a closer look at some of the opponents UConn will be facing this season.
"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”
- Sun Tzu, "The Art of War”
UConn football might not have a hundred games this year, and they may want to fear the result of some of them, but Sun Tzu’s message nonetheless rings clear. For my UConn football preview series I’m going to focus on, in my opinion, the best or most interesting player on each team the Huskies face in the 2017 season.
SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton was only a three-star recruit coming out of Brenham High School in Brenham, Texas. Man, how times change.
Coming out of school, Sutton was a 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety whose best offer was from Washington State. Now in his redshirt junior year, Sutton is two inches taller, has packed on almost 30 pounds of muscle,and is widely regarded to be one of the best receiver prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Sutton’s been drawing comparisons to Julio Jones, Mike Evans,and Alshon Jeffery, and if you watch his film you’ll see it’s warranted.
Last year with the Mustangs, Sutton caught 76 passes for 1,246 yards and ten touchdowns, which led the American.
In the Mustangs' game against USF, Sutton destroyed the SMU single game receiving yards record, with 252 yards on 13 receptions.
Sutton has great hands for a receiver, and this skill is only augmented by his huge frame. He doesn’t have a breakaway first step, but when he gets into the open field he can build up enough speed to make any defensive back eat dirt.
In this play against TCU, Sutton uses his quick feet to get the corner off balance, then uses his huge frame to go up and high point the ball.
It’s pretty terrifying to see someone like Sutton put all of his physical tools together, especially for opposing defensive coordinators who have to gameplan for it, and that play came from Sutton as a freshman.
Sutton will face Jamar Summers, UConn’s star defensive back, week four when the Huskies travel to Dallas to face the Mustangs. If UConn defensive coordinator Billy Crocker doesn't have a plan cooked up to slow Sutton down, Gerald J. Ford Stadium is in for a show.
Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.