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vBook: Mr. Football Ohio

Class Act

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Tyrell Sutton had a monster senior season at Akron Hoban, culminating in being selected as the 18th annual Associated Press Mr. Football in Ohio on Wednesday.

In 2004 he carried 354 times for 3,232 yards (a 9.1-yard average) and 38 touchdowns, including one on a reception and another on a kickoff return. He threw a TD pass in a playoff win against Akron Buchtel, and rushed for 505 yards against Youngstown Ursuline and 406 against Warren Harding.

The son of an Akron police officer whose mother is a secretary, Sutton finished his Hoban career with 9,426 yards rushing - the most ever by an Ohio high school player - on 1,090 carries. He totaled 117 touchdowns, all but five on the ground. And he would have been a standout player if he never carried the ball once, based on his 455 receiving yards and 1,038 return yards, bumping his all-purpose yards to a staggering 10,919.

His coach, Ralph Orsini, compares him in style and size to former Detroit Lions superstar Barry Sanders.

"He's got great vision on the field," said Orsini, whose teams with Sutton in the backfield went 39-10 before losing in the second round of this year's playoffs. "He's very powerful, with a low center of gravity and muscular legs. He can cut on a dime and he can really accelerate on his cuts. ... He has tremendous speed. If he gets a step on someone, he's going to go the distance."

Sutton has a 3.4 grade-point average and has committed to Northwestern.

The goofy thing is that he might not have even had the best season in his immediate family. His older brother, Tony, was the offensive player of the year for the second season consecutive season in the North Coast Conference while playing for the College of Wooster. The older Sutton rushed for 2,308 yards and 31 touchdowns in 12 games, averaging 197 yards on the ground in a solid NCAA Division III league. He also averaged 31 yards per kickoff return.

"I'm just proud to say I played with four great groups of guys," he said. "Over the years, I don't think anybody expected anything like this to happen - records to be broken and such. But every lineman, every wide receiver, every quarterback who ever blocked for me, they get to go down as a part of history. That's probably the most special thing for me." Sutton won the award over Cincinnati Colerain defensive lineman Terrill Byrd, Centerville running back Tommy Tamaska, Lakewood St. Edward offensive lineman Alex Boone, Columbus Brookhaven defensive back Dominic Jones, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne running back Javon Ringer, Sarahsville Shenandoah running back Jacob Zerkle, Canton McKinley running back Ryan Brinson and Delta running back Nate Kmic.

Past winners of the Mr. Football award include current NFL player Charles Woodson and college standouts such as Robert Smith, Bobby Hoying, Marc Edwards and Curtis Enis.

Sutton will receive a plaque in the shape of Ohio from The Associated Press.
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