New York • Quarterback Brad Sorensen became the first player from Southern Utah to ever be selected in the NFL Draft on Saturday, when the San Diego Chargers took him in the seventh round.
Sorensen, who threw for a school-record 9,445 yards and 61 touchdowns in his three-year career at SUU, was the 221st overall pick.
With the Chargers, Sorensen will be competing for a backup job behind established starter Phillip Rivers.
A native of Grand Terrace, Calif., Sorensen went on a Mormon mission to Spain out of high school. He returned and spent one season at San Bernadino Valley Junior College before walking on at BYU in 2009.
Sorensen transferred to Southern Utah in 2010, won the starting job in spring practice and helped turn the Thunderbirds' offense into one of the most prolific in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A prototypical drop-back passer, Sorensen stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 230 pounds. He was taken 13 spots ahead of Miami-Ohio's Zac Dysert, the next quarterback selected in draft. Denver used the 234th overall pick on Dysert.
SUU coach Ed Lamb had an idea Sorensen would be drafted.
"I'm a big fan, so I couldn't give you an unbiased opinion," Lamb recently told The Salt Lake Tribune. "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."