WR/DB Varmah Sonie Gets Recruiting Attention

Varmah Sonie, a 5-foot-9, 156-pound WR/DB from Apple Valley, was named first-team Minneapolis Star Tribune, KARE 11 Sports All-Metro and to the Associated Press All-State team. Sonie was a standout at the Minnesota Gopher passing camp this summer. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Sonie, a three-sport standout and one of the state's top all-around athletes, to learn the latest on his recruitment.

Varmah Sonie was named as one of the 10 finalists for the Minnesota Mr. Football Award, along with Blaine quarterback James Peterson, Northfield linebacker Cole Jirik, Edina QBAnders Lee, Pelcan Rapids QB Tydan Storrusten, Becker RB Jake Gibbons, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City RB Kurtis Huisman, Brainderd RB Colby Ring, Owatonna OT Casey Dehn, and Orono LB Brett Skoog.

Sonie helped lead the Eagles to a 5-5 mark this season, losing to Eastview 35-0 in the second round of the playoffs. He caught 41 passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns. Sonie rushed 36 times for 342 yards and one score. As a defensive back, he had six interceptions this season, including one returned for a touchdown. Sonie also returned three punts for touchdowns.

Sonie was named special-mention Associated Press All-State as a junior as he helped lead the Eagles to a 3-8 mark. Apple Valley started the season 0-7, but won their regular-season finale and beat Bloomington Kennedy and Rosemount in the section playoffs before losing to Eastview in the section title game.

Sonie had eight interceptions with two returned for touchdowns. Sonie is a three-year starter with 19 interceptions in his career. He is usually asked to shut down the leading receiver of the opposing team and finished as the second-leading tackler on the team as a junior. Sonie is also an elusive special teams players who returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown last season.

An opposing Lake Conference coach called Sonie the "most talented skill player in the Lake Conference, most dangerous offensive threat, outstanding coverage corner."

Sonie was named All-Lake Conference in basketball as he helped lead the Eagles to a 11-17 mark, losing to top-seeded Burnsville 68-57 in the Section 3AAAA semifinals last year. Sonie was named co-MVP as he led the team in assists (201) and steals (67). He was named one of the three captains for the upcoming season.

Sonie was also a standout on the Apple Valley track and field team. He ran the 200, 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays and long jump. He runs a 4.45 40-yard dash and finished with a 23.72 200-yard dash and a 20-8 1/2 long jump in the Section 3 championship.

GoldenSports.Net caught up with Sonie after Apple Valley's season-opening basketball game Friday night. Sonie was glad to hear word about his football postseason honors.

"It felt really good because as a junior I got All-Conference, but did not get All-Metro or All-State. As a senior, it felt pretty good," he said.

Sonie is hearing from a variety of schools.

"North Dakota State, St. Cloud State, South Dakota State, Winona State, Moorehead State and a little bit from Minnesota. Moorehead offered me a partial scholarship," he said.

Sonie shined at the Minnesota passing camp and is hearing from the Gopher coaches.

"I am in contact with Coach Roof right now," he said. "We are just talking back and forth. Nothing really serious."

Sonie hopes to make some college visits, despite a hectic schedule with basketball season just starting.

"I am going to take my visits after I take the ACT December 13th. This will be the second time I have taken it. The first time, I got a 17."

Sonie has given some thought into a possible college major.

"In college, I'd like to major in sports management," he said. "I might change that as I get older, but for now, it is sports management."

Sonie said that he does not have a current favorite.

"It is still kind of early right now," he said.

Sonie is close friends with Breck wide receiver Bryce McNeal. He visited Michigan and attended the 7-on-7 passing camp in Akron with McNeal, who committed to the Wolverines, but decided to re-open his recruitment. Minnesota is recruiting McNeal and there has been speculation that the two could wind up at Minnesota together.

"Me and Bryce have talked about it," Sonie said. "Bryce said that if the U offered me, that he would go there. We'll see what happens. Me and Bryce are like best friends."

Sonie said that the two talked about McNeal's recruitment quite often.

"He said that he visited Oregon a couple of weeks ago and he said that he really liked it down there. He is just waiting on the U to offer me to see what happens."

McNeal has kept his recruitment close to the vest, but Sonie said that the two talk about where the Breck wide receiver might play college football.

"I ask him, but he kinds wants me to keep it on the down low. I can't really say," he said.

Despite a 70-49 loss to a tough Henry Sibley in their season opener, Sonie has high expectations for the Eagles this year.

"This is our first game and obviously Henry Sibley is a very good team," Sonie said. "They are ranked No. 2 in the state. We just got to bounce back and work hard. I think that we should be ranked in the top 10 in the state. I think that we are good. It was just out first game. We've got to make connections."

Sonie admits that it is tough to get into "basketball mode" after a long football season.

"Definitely. Football is a physical sport, really physical," he said. "Basketball, if you touch someone, it is a foul. It is different going from football to basketball."

Sonie comes from an athletic family. Older brother Laminu was a preferred walk-on at Minnesota, where he redshirted as a freshman. He transferred to North Dakota State, where returned one punt for minus-4 yards in 2006.

Sonie is an undersized player, but has excellent quickness and is very hard to tackle due to his elusiveness.

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