On Tuesday we touched on the Vols’ 2013 offensive MVP — Rajion Neal.
Today, we’ll take a look at the other side of the ball, as we name our 2013 defensive MVP.
Tennessee’s defense in 2013 was much improved over the disastrous 2012 defensive unit. The Vols moved back to a 4-3 defensive front, after one season in a 3-4 under former defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.
The Vols’ defense still had their bad moments (against Auburn, Alabama and Oregon, but then again those are some of the top teams in the country), but there also times when the defensive unit looked great (the second half against Georgia and against South Carolina).
There are several great candidates for defensive player of the year.
Linebacker AJ Johnson again led the Volunteers in tackles, with 106.
Defensive back Brian Randolph led the Vols with four interceptions.
Both of those guys could easily be the defensive player of the year, but I think there’s one guy who’s impact was felt even more.
Every time there was a big defensive stop, it seemed like true freshman Cam Sutton was right in the thick of it.
Sutton, who was rated as a three-star recruit, saw the field early in 2013, starting all 12 games for the Vols.
While freshmen like Marquez North, Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson dominated the headlines heading into the season, it was Sutton who made the biggest impact of all the newcomers.
The true freshman from Jonesboro, Ga finished the 2013 campaign with 39 total tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defended, two fumbles recoveries and one touchdown (INT).
As a result of Sutton’s tremendous season, he was named as a Freshman All-American by 247Sports.
Sutton is a player that Vol fans should be very excited about going forward. He’s only going to get better and he most certainly has fans recalling another Vol great from the secondary — Eric Berry.
Check out Sutton’s 2013 highlights, courtesy of UTSports.Com