Yesterday was quite the interesting day; Montrel Meander flipped to Texas, while Riley Sorenson committed to WSU out of left field. I've had my eye on Sorenson for a while now, but I honestly felt like we didn't really have a shot to land the big offensive lineman. Reading the tea leaves, his Top 3 were Cal, UW, and UCLA. Talking to some people with knowledge of the Cal class, they apparently stopped recruiting him (to the chagrin of many). I absolutely do not care if he verbally committed because other schools became uninterested. If we were his 50th choice, I'd still be happy to have him. Talent trumps guys that "want to be Cougs" every single time. And Sorenson has talent in spades.
As we've talked about seemingly ad nauseum, Mike Leach and his staff are focusing on guys with elite traits. Whether it's speed, size, or freakish athleticism, the point is simple: bring in guys who excel at one thing and worry about the rest when he gets to campus. You still evaluate talent, but you look at someone who might be less polished overall, but excels at pass blocking. Bring him in, let him do his thing, and coach him up in the other areas.
Coug fans shouldn't have to wait long to see Sorenson on the field. At 6'5 and 320 pounds, he's absolutely massive. He played every position, save Center, on the offensive line this past season, and helped lead Santa Margarita Catholic to a State Championship. Speaking of SMC, Sorenson is one of six players who are playing for BCS conference schools. That's a pretty impressive feat, and if we're starting to develop a pipeline, I'm 100% behind that.
The first video is Sorenson in one-on-one drills, while the second is his Junior tape. If you want to view even more impressive film, here's a link to his Hudl page for his Senior highlights.
For the most part, offensive line is the most difficult position to evaluate. Watching Sorenson, it's pretty easy to tell the kid is a big time player, though. He manhandles the guy across from him effortlessly on almost every single play. He opened holes for Nebraska-bound QB Johnny Stanton to run through, and Stanton wound up an Elite 11 QB in the process.
I'd say his pass blocking is about even with his run blocking, but he likely had to run block more in that offense. He's also great at getting downfield and throwing an extra block. I audibly laughed when he demolished a kid 15 yards downfield. He shouldn't be that agile at 320+ pounds, but here we are.
Overall, I really can't see this as anything other than a homerun for Leach and Co. I want to redshirt basically every recruit ever, but if Sorenson came in and helped shore up the OL this fall, that'd be just fine by me. Congrats, Riley, and Go Cougs.
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