2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 50 Cam Sutton, Tennessee
SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
50. Cam Sutton, Soph., CB, Tennessee
One of the Eastern Division’s top corners, Sutton played a team-high 746 snaps as a true freshman and started every game for the Vols as a standout player on a defense that underachieved. Tennessee’s first rookie starter at defensive back since Justin Coleman in 2011, Sutton exceeded expectations as a three-star recruit out of Georgia after earning All-SEC Freshman honors at season’s end. He was joined in the secondary by heralded five-stars Vernon Hargreaves, Tony Conner and Tre’Davious White.
Sutton’s a game-changer, an element Tennessee’s coaching staff noticed during his recruitment when the Jonesboro native returned kicks and caught passes at the prep level in addition to his defensive duties. Natural ball skills came in handy early in his college career when Sutton picked off a pass in no man’s land against Western Kentucky and returned it untouched for a 36-yard score. South Carolina fell victim to the 6-foot-1, 180-pound ballhawk’s second interception last October after he snagged an ill-timed throw from Connor Shaw. It was Shaw’s only pick of his senior season.
Mature beyond his years, Sutton’s primary focus this offseason was to avoid complacency and continue working on his skills as an instinctive corner. It’s a bit premature, but Sutton’s already drawing comparisons to Vols great Eric Berry for his hands and tackling ability. He worked with the former All-American safety on campus this spring at Tennessee’s training facility, picking his brain about technique and tendencies.
Expect another stellar season from a player who has one of Tennessee’s corner spots on lock for the next two years.
2013 statistics: 39 tackles, 2 INT, team-leading 9 PD
2014 projection: 43 tackles, 4 INT, 11 PD