Cameron Mitchell can't stop following in the footsteps of Greg Newsome II.
From seven-on-seven football, to playing in the same cornerback room at Northwestern to starting an NFL career in Cleveland, Mitchell and Newsome have become inseparable. They'll reunite again when Mitchell grabs an orange helmet in a few weeks and hits the field again with the same player he's known since he was 11 years old.
"It seems like I can't get away from him," Mitchell said with a laugh after the Browns drafted him with the 142nd overall pick of the NFL Draft.
Newsome's presence should help Mitchell feel comfortable as he transitions from the Big Ten to the NFL. He was one of the first people to call Mitchell once his name got announced from the draft stage in Kansas City, and then Newsome took to Twitter to let the world know how amped he was to call his close friend a teammate again.
Mitchell joined Newsome at Northwestern in 2019 and took a redshirt that season while Newsome lit up the Big Ten as a starter with nine pass breakups. When Newsome was limited to three games in 2020 due to an injury, the Wildcats leaned on Mitchell to fill his role, the first heavy-duty job of his college career.
The results from Mitchell were impressive — he tallied six pass breakups and his first career interception in eight games.
"The whole season, I was really prepared for that starting role," Mitchell said. "Once Greg got hurt, we talked about it in the locker room and he was just like, 'You're going to have to go out there and finish this joint.' I was ready for it, I was ready for the challenge. I went out there and performed."
As Newsome started his Browns career in 2021, Mitchell stepped into a starting role and continued to shine. He matched his pass-breakup total with another six batted passes and was recognized as an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten squad. He was an honorable mention again the following year when he led Northwestern with 10 pass breakups and secured his second career interception.
Little did he know, Mitchell was just forging another path back to his old pal.
When he picked up the phone Saturday with a call from Browns GM Andrew Berry, the chat started with Berry asking Mitchell if he thought Newsome was a good corner.
"He's alright," Mitchell said with a grin.
Then, Berry asked Mitchell if he thought he was even better than Newsome.
"If you asked me any day of the week, I'd say the same thing," he said with a bigger smile.
The duo can settle that question in practices this year.
But one thing both of them will agree on is that they'll give the Browns a better defense — and that they can't stop following each other around.