"It's been a crazy week for me that culminated with my commitment last night, but I'm very grateful to now be a Gopher," Illinois linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin said to GopherIllustrated Saturday evening. "My Minnesota interest started back a month or two as I actually visited for their Junior Day. Then things picked up even more after my performance at the Chicago Nike camp and then defensive coordinator Robb Smith and my recruiting area coach Brian Callahan came and watched a workout. Then said they loved what they saw and we setup a personal Minnesota visit on Monday with my parents, they offered and then I committed on Friday night, so it's been a crazy week."
"When I was on the visit on Monday, I got to talk with coach P.J. Fleck, tour the campus and facilities, see the Carlson School of Business and talk with some academic advisers," Sori-Marin explained to GopherIllustrated. "I spoke a lot with General Manager Gerrit Chernoff and defensive analyst Joe Rossi, and it was nice to get to know them. Their facilities are incredible, but the new $180 million facility is going to be amazing. Coach Fleck and my family got to talk about what Minnesota had to offer me as a student-athlete. Then ended up offering me on the visit as a Will linebacker, which was extremely exciting. They love my athleticism at 225 lbs and how well I can move in space. My family and I took a few days to think it through, and coach Fleck and I were texting throughout the week. We decided Friday night it was the best decision for me and coach Fleck was pumped that I'm now a Gopher. I decided on Minnesota as I really like coach Fleck's Row the Boat culture because he's all about developing young men as a person first, and then a football player. This is the kind culture I want to play in."
Sori-Marin has put in a lot of hours to get where he is today.
"I've worked tremendously hard over the last two seasons and I didn't know if I was ever going to get the chance to be a high-level division one player," Sori-Marin said. "I broke my collarbone as a sophomore and then rehabbed hard for my junior year and then breaking my collarbone again was tough. I never let myself get down and I returned for the final two games of my season, and I'm really proud of that. My parents helped me along that journey too, and I'm very grateful for them. They love Minnesota as they believe it's the best choice for me as it has a lot of offer me as a student-athlete. The Carlson School of Business is a huge selling point to me as I want to major in business and I know that it stands up pretty tall against the rest of business schools around. I'm done with recruiting now as I want to start focusing on my senior season and help leading my team to the state championship. Minnesota took a chance on me when a lot of other schools wanted to wait and see me at camp, and I'm very grateful to them for that, and I'll be loyal. I want my teammates, parents, coaches and everyone that's helped me to get where I am today to know that I'm so thankful for them. Go Gophers!"