Top-Rated Kicker Ready To Boom Footballs

He energizes his teammates and crowd with thundering kickoffs and 50-plus-yard field goals. Justin Sorensen, Utah's record holder for the longest field goal, is now ready to bring his show time to the big stage.

Two-star Army All-American Bowl Game participant and Utah record setting performer Justin Sorensen is happy to have finally officially signed with BYU.

"I'm very happy the recruiting is all over," said Sorensen. "I'm sick of people saying, ‘So where are you going?' like I was going to switch or something."

Despite committing to BYU, Sorensen received more recruiting attention from a few schools late in the picture.

"I had a couple of schools come in and recruit me," said Sorensen. "I think most realized that I was pretty strong in my commitment to BYU. I'm a BYU boy."

During game time performances, Sorensen has kicked multiple field goals beyond the 50-yard line. The All-American kicked a Utah state record 62-yard field goal against Jordan High School, and a 59-yard field goal against state champion Alta High School during the regular season, which later proved to be the winning score (23-20). He kicked a 56-yard field goal against West Jordan, a 46-yard field goal against Kerns and 43-yard kick against Davis. He also kicked four others from beyond the 35-yard line with plenty of distance to spare.

Needless to say, Sorensen will pose a challenge for future defensive coordinators, whom will realize the daunting task of trying to keep BYU's high-powered offense from beyond the 40-yard line or risk giving up points from field goals.

"I'm just excited to be down there and to be able to kick in college," said a humble Sorensen. "I just feel I'm blessed to even be able to play down there at BYU."

Sorensen also converted 54 of 55 attempts on PATs during the season. He kicked the ball off to opponents 88 times, with 81 of those kickoffs going for touchbacks, sometimes even going far beyond the back of the end zone or even going through the uprights to the sounds of a cheering crowd.

In San Antonio, Sorensen got the chance among other top competitors from across the nation to show off his leg.

"It was definitely an eye opener for me because I've always been one that never went to any camps or to any combines or anything," said Sorensen. "So that was really my first football experience outside the state, and so it was really an eye opener to see the talent and speed and a lot of the athleticism of the athletes that are going on to play college ball.

"To be able to kick with some of the best guys in the country was an awesome experience to be able to compete and compare yourself to see where you are with some of the best in the country. It was neat to be able to talk to them and see the differences in thinking and the way you do stuff. It was awesome."

In seeing firsthand the top kicking talent from around the country, does Sorensen feel his abilities are on par with the best the nation has to offer?

"I felt like we were all pretty equal," said Sorensen. "We all had our little trademark things that we were really good at. My thing is I can hit the long ball. The other kickers had other things they could do really well. The other kicker from the west [6-foot-1-inch, 172-pound Justin Tucker from Austin, Texas] wasn't quite as much leg but was lethally accurate.

"He was kind of like Louie Sakoda from Utah, who can't kick really far but is accurate. You know, I got a chance to learn a lot from [Tucker]. You know, just by being down there I thought towards the end I could kick as well if not better than any of them, just because I picked up on things they knew already."

Sorensen was rated a three-star All-American candidate by Rivals and a two-star All-American candidate by Scout. So what does two-star All-American recruit Justin Sorensen think of his star status despite being among the best in the nation at his position?

"I think what it seems to me is how it's now done is [the scouts] pay more attention to guys who go to camps, go to combines or are being recruited by specific schools. You know, guys that can jump this high or run this fast. It seems to be a little less focused on the football aspect of things, like when it comes down to that moment in a game. So, I don't really pay much attention to them. I don't [care] about star rankings a whole lot.

"For me, my example is Cody Raymond from Jordan High School. That kid is pretty much my idol because he is so good at football. He isn't the fastest guy, the tallest guy or the biggest guy, but he is just dang good at football. He's a great kid and just great at football. He's a lot like Eric Weddle was at Utah."

Sorensen pretty much summed up what his future head coach at BYU said about the credibility of star rankings in terms of a player's football value.

"I think we have a very good class," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall was quoted at as saying. "We don't really care how many recruiting stars a player has when he comes here. Every player, once he comes to Provo, starts out with no stars. What we care about is how many stars he has when he leaves."

At the current moment, Sorensen only knows that he is going to try and start his freshman year, and what happens after that in regards to serving an LDS mission hasn't been decided yet.

So what can BYU fans expect from this two-star All-American and future Cougar on the football field?

"You know what, you're going to see someone who is going to give it all he has," Sorensen said. "You're going to see someone who is always going to give it his best. In high school, kicking was just a job I did for our football team. Now that I'm at BYU and I've signed, it's always on my mind that I have to be the best and that no one is going to beat. I'm going to work my tail off and be the best that there can be and try and help my team win a national title. As long as there are great people who will be there to support this team on the field, we'll rise above any individual star rankings and do great things as a team not only on the football field, but off of it."

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