Utah State football: Secondary faces still challenge vs. SUU's Brad Sorensen
Logan • We've heard the talk and the rhetoric throughout fall camp. Utah State's secondary has now become a strength, where it was a question mark in 2011.
Well, the Aggies are going to have to prove that right away.
USU's matchup against Southern Utah on Thursday has been dominated with talks of the Larsen brothers going at it (Cody Larsen is a senior DT for SUU while Tyler Larsen is a junior center for the Aggies). Quietly, however, T-birds quarterback Brad Sorensen just may be the best opposing quarterback on USU's schedule.
The senior is the reigning Great West Conference offensive player of the year. He's also squarely on the professional radar, as NFLDraftScout.com has him rated as the second best small school player in the country.
And the stats back him up as well. Sorensen has thrown for 38 touchdowns and over 6,300 yards in two years as a starter. Clearly, Utah State will have a challenge in trying to stop him.
"He does a great job in making plays happen when it looks like he's bottled up in the pocket," senior safety McKade Brady said. "He has really good strength, and he can step up when he needs to and deliver the football. It's always hard to defend guys like him."
Sorensen spent some time at BYU, but redshirted in his only season as a Cougar in 2009. He played one year of junior college ball, and then went to SUU.
He has distinguished himself as one of the best smaller school players in the country. He picked apart UNLV last season in a 41-16 victory, so he's no stranger to playing in games against bigger programs.
"He's a big, strong and smart kid that throws the ball well," USU head coach Gary Andersen said. "He's a much better athlete than anyone gives him credit for. Southern Utah has done a tremendous job with him."
Naming a starter
No, an official word on the quarterbacks will not be forthcoming. Instead, Andersen named freshman Brock Warren his starting kicker for SUU. Warren, out of Sky View, has come out of nowhere to win the job in camp, over more experienced candidates Nick Diaz and Josh Thompson.
Tight end D.J. Tialavea and running back Joey DeMartino are out for Southern Utah. DeMartino has a broken arm and is expected to miss at least the first two games. Tialavea, out of West Jordan, could return for the Utah game. Running back Robert Marshall is expected to be ready for the T-birds. He should assume the role as the third back.