CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Junior safety Brenton Nelson arrived at UVa as a walk-on, but earned a scholarship while starting every game as a redshirt freshman in 2017, and was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Nelson started twelve games for the 'Hoos last season.

He's penciled in as the starter at the "Sabre" position this year, which was manned by Juan Thornhill last season.

Thornhill is now playing in the NFL, and despite the loss of expected starter Darrius Bratton due to a knee injury, Nelson says the depth and experience at defensive back will be a strength for the Cavaliers this year.

"Everybody has a good camaraderie," says Nelson.  "We can talk to each other. Even if somebody does something wrong, we won't demean them, we'll just try to correct them. When things go well, everybody comes in to congratulate each other. It's a very strong DB corps."

Virginia kicks off the season on Saturday at 7:30 at Pittsburgh.