College football • SUU quarterback gets a chance to prove he's ready for the big time.
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It's going to be a busy winter for Brad Sorensen.
A record-setting quarterback at Southern Utah University, Sorensen this week received an invitation to the NFL Combine Feb. 20-26 at Indianapolis.
"It's a great opportunity for Brad," said Thunderbirds coach Ed Lamb. "I'm excited for him. And I think I speak for our coaching staff and all his teammates."
Most scouting services project Sorensen a third-round pick, but an impressive showing at the combine could enable him to move up.
"I'm a big fan, so I couldn't give you an unbiased opinion," Lamb said. "But judging from what the scouts have been conveying to me, he has all the physical tools. It sounds like many of them believe his abilities transfer best to the NFL for teams with a pocket-passing game."
One thing is certain: Sorensen has the attention of those whose livelihood depends on finding NFL-quality players.
Three weeks ago, he was invited to play in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 19 in Carson, Calif.
According to the NFLPA, participants in the game receive on-field work as well a weeklong introduction to the union and life as a professional football player.
Herm Edwards and Dick Vermeil will coach the American and National teams, respectively.
Clearly, it's going to a dizzying month for Sorensen, who threw for 9,445 yards and 61 touchdowns in three seasons at Southern Utah.
He could end up being the third player from the state who gets drafted, behind Utah's Star Lotulelei and BYU's Ezekiel Ansah.
Lotulelei, a defensive lineman, has a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Ansah, a still-developing defensive end, is projected to go in the top 20.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Sorensen, who started his career at BYU, caught the eye of scouts because of his size, arm strength, quick release and decision-making ability.
There are concerns about his foot speed, the level of competition he faced at SUU and whether his statistical production was inflated by the Thunderbirds' high-scoring offensive scheme.
I saw Sorensen play eight times over the last three seasons and thought, from Day 1, he has a chance to play in the NFL because of his tremendous arm.
Last season against Eastern Washington, the top-ranked team in the FCS, Sorensen made one throw I will always remember.
After scrambling to his left, he fired across his body to his receiver, who was racing down the far sideline.
Sorensen's pass traveled at least 60 yards and hit its target dead-on.
"Brad has worked incredibly hard and overcome some peaks and valleys in his career trying to find the right place," Lamb said. "We're just happy he found it at Southern Utah."