When class of 2009 LaBrae graduate Cameron Truss first stepped onto the field as a redshirt freshman for the Bowling Green Falcons in the fall of 2010, the program experienced a rough season.
The Falcons recorded just two wins and finished tied for last place in the Mid-American Conference, East Division, that year with a 1-7 conference record.
Three years later, the tables have completely turned, as Bowling Green (5-1) currently sits atop the MAC East Division after three conference wins. This follows a season in which the Falcons lost two league games and went 8-5 overall to finish in second place in their division.
"When I first got here, it was up and down, but I feel like it's been a great journey," Truss said. "We have a lot of players now that have bought into the program, and each and every year, we've just been building and establishing our identity."
Truss, now a redshirt senior, has played a big role in every step of the journey, from starting in seven and playing in nine games his freshman year to becoming the team's shut-down corner in 2012.
The 5-foot-10, 183-pound defensive back started in 32 out of a possible 37 games in his first three years, and Truss has proven the reason the coaches put him on the field so much by accumulating 164 tackles - 3.5 for a loss - , 20 pass breakups and picking off three passes in his first two seasons.
Through five games this season, Truss has amassed 21 tackles, 16 solo, and three pass breakups.
"My plan was wherever I was going to go just to go there and play to the best of my abilities to show the coaches what I can do and work hard," Truss said. "When I got here, that's exactly what I tried to do. I tried to show the coaches that I could play and make the best out of it."
To go along with Truss' individual success, the Bowling Green defense has experienced a resurgence, going from one of the MAC's worst passing defenses to one of the nation's best in a manner of a couple of seasons. In 2012, the Falcons allowed 190.1 yards per game through the air, ranked 13th in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The defensive dominance in the passing game coincided with a change in scoring defense, as the Falcons allowed 16.8 points per game in 2012 for the least points allowed in the MAC.
"I think it all started with our defensive line," Truss said. "They caused a lot of trouble up front, which made the quarterback want to get the ball out fast and allowed the DB's to make plays on the back end."
Truss definitely took care of business on his end in 2012, leading the team in solo tackles and earning third-team All-MAC honors for the year. Truss said he isn't content with just that, however.
"I was very honored to get third-team All-MAC, but each year I want to strive to do better," Truss said. "This year, hopefully, I can get first team."
As for 2013, Bowling Green looks like a team that can contend for the MAC title. After the progression he's seen, Truss said the Falcons should be in the thick of the race to head to Detroit, if not winning the championship game on Dec. 6.
"I love our team's chances," Truss said. "I feel like if we just stick to our plan each and every week, we have a great chance (to win the MAC)."