Nathan Sorenson: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Texas High School head coach Barry Norton about Nate Sorenson, a 6-3, 205-pound quarterback from Texarkana, Texas.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Barry Norton: I guess his overall athletic ability. I think sometimes people under-estimate him. Nathan is a real accurate passer and he's got a good arm. He's got great speed; he's a 21.7 (seconds) 200-meter guy. He's an extremely, extremely bright kid and understands offensive football. I think he's a great get for Oklahoma State or anybody.

How does he compare with the other outstanding quarterbacks that have come through Texas High, including current Arkansas starter Ryan Mallett?
Barry Norton: Ryan stands alone as far as arm strength and that part of it. He was a pure drop-back passer, (and) not a great runner by any stretch of the imagination. He had a great arm and a great understanding of offensive football. Nathan doesn't have the arm that Ryan does but there are only two or three people in the country that do. His accuracy is just as good if not better (than Ryan's), he has overall much better athleticism and the ability to run. They both have different strengths. I think they both really understand the game, understand protections and blitz pick ups and all those things. The difference between the two of them is we built our offense around a drop-back passer with Ryan where with Nate we tried to incorporate his ability to run even more.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Barry Norton: I think it's the same for everybody. I think the speed of the game is going to be an issue. He also needs to get in the weight room and get stronger. I think Nate's like a lot of the great athletes in high school … He played football, he played basketball, he ran track, he played baseball, and never got to spend much time in the weight room. So he's got to get bigger and stronger in his upper body just to protect his body as much as anything, and get used to the speed of the game.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Barry Norton: Two years ago in the first round of the (Class 4A) playoffs against Whitehouse (which Texas High won 49-13), they did some things we didn't think they would do because of Nate's ability. Nate threw for 260 yards and ran for 203, I think it was. He just dominated the ball game. It was one of those games where he made every right decision and everything we executed perfectly. That's the one I'll probably always remember about Nate. The thing I'll remember more than anything about Nate is that he's one of the finest young men you'll ever meet.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Barry Norton: Athleticism. Intelligence. Character.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Barry Norton: Let me tell you a true story. It's just incredible how Ryan (Mallett) can throw a football, so when Nate followed him you wondered where he was going to fit in. I sent tape to several college guys that I really have great respect for, and a couple of them are in the Big 12. I asked them to evaluate it, call me and talk to me about him and tell me what your thoughts are. Two of the four of them called me and said he reminds them of Zac Robinson. So I thought the offense was a good fit for Nate. I know they're changing some things with their offense (now that Dana Holgorsen is going to be offensive coordinator), but Nate went to Oklahoma State and really enjoyed it and felt at home. He loved the fact that they play in the Big 12. Stillwater is not too big, and he liked the family atmosphere they have there. I think it's a good fit for him.

What type of impact to you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Barry Norton: If everything works out right, and I don't know how long or how quick they anticipate him playing, but I think Nate is a guy if he stays healthy and develops as I think he will, that he has a chance to be a really great quarterback for Oklahoma State before he leaves there.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Barry Norton: There are so many factors that figure into that. I hope that Nate will leave there and everybody will be proud that he was in their program. I think he can go in there and be a two- or three-year starter for them. If he redshirts, I think he can be a three-year guy. There are so many things that go into that but hopefully he'll leave his mark as a great player and an even better kid.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Barry Norton: Just what a pleasure it was to coach him. He's the kid that you hope your son will be like (when he grows up). How easy it was to coach him, how he tried his hardest to be a great player and a great teammate. He made the sacrifices that you ask the kids to make, and he did things the right way.

GoPokes Top Stories