Cameron Sutton has played a major role in Tennessee’s revamped defense. Since enrolling at the University of Tennessee in 2013, Sutton has started at cornerback in every game of his career thus far.

As a true freshman, Sutton recorded 39 tackles (four for loss), two interceptions, seven pass deflections and two fumble recoveries while manning the cornerback position in all 12 games. He’s continued his streak in 2014 and is off to an impressive start through his first three games.

While he carries himself with a maturity and knowledge of the game far beyond his years, the sophomore confesses that he still finds his experience at Tennessee to be surreal.

“I never really thought about that,” Sutton said of his 15-consecutive starts. “My first day coming in, there was just a mentality of going out there, doing my job and playing the football that I’ve known how to do for so long. I didn’t expect to come in here and start all 15 games but I knew that if I worked hard, prepared well and practiced well, it would lead over into the games.”

Sutton has made steady improvement upon the mental aspects of his game as well. This season, he credits the difference in his play-making abilities to eye discipline, saying he sees the field better and is much more aware of his surroundings in year two.

“I know where everybody else is supposed to be around me,” Sutton said. “Last year, I was kind of just focused on myself. But this year, I know where everybody else is around me. I know where guys are supposed to be so I can correct myself when I’m out there, as well as correct the other guys.”

The Georgia native also feels that no amount of preparation is enough at the collegiate level. When Sutton looks to improve on certain areas of his game, he leans on Defensive Backs Coach Willie Martinez.

“Our coaching staff does a great job of putting us in opportunities and situations to make plays around the field,” Sutton said. “Like Coach Martinez says, my preparation this year has been at an all-time high and I feel more prepared when I go out there. I know what to expect a lot of times, so I can go out there and make plays.”

Aside from individual goals and striving to help the team on a personal level, Sutton’s drive is propelled by Team 118’s mentality of one team with one common purpose.

“You can see a big change in our locker room,” Sutton added. “With the mentality that we have, we are a very hungry team and we want it all. Losses hurt and this year, you can see a big difference. Our heads are not down but we know that we could’ve won that game. We know that we have to limit our mistakes and we’ll get it corrected.”