Inside The Huddle With Justin Sorensen
Sept. 18, 2008
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina senior offensive tackle Justin Sorensen has made 21 consecutive starts at right tackle for the Gamecocks. A native of Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada, Sorensen was a first round selection in the 2008 Canadian Football Draft by his hometown team, the B.C. Lions. Sorensen graduated in December of 2007 with a degree in retailing and is currently working on a second major in psychology.
Inside the Huddle with Justin Sorensen
What does it mean to the team to begin to have more fifth-year seniors on the roster?
"It means more experience and leadership. I've been here through a bunch of coaches, starting with Coach Holtz and now we're going on four years with Coach Spurrier so I guess I have a little bit of knowledge and experience to share with the younger guys. Guys have been here longer and have seen more stuff. They've been in more situations so it's good because we can help the younger guys through a lot of things."
How big is football in Canada?
"It's not huge, but it's not as small as everyone thinks it is either. I'm from an island and I think there are about seven teams on the island. There are probably about 50 or 60 teams in my province. British Columbia is the only province that plays American football. All of the others play Canadian football. From my province, there are probably about eight or nine guys playing in the States."
Spending your whole life in Canada, was it a major adjustment coming down to South Carolina?
"A lot of things are the same, but there are a few things that are different. It wasn't a drastic change. It wouldn't be like coming from Europe to here, but things in the U.S. are pretty much the same. The food's a little different down here. It's a little spicier. People talk a little different, but not a whole lot. I wanted to play in the SEC. There's actually a recruiter in Canada that recruits for a lot of different schools. Carolina heard about me through him."
Did you ever play any hockey?
"I never played competitive hockey. I'd play with my friends-street hockey, floor hockey, and a little bit of ice hockey, but nothing really competitive. I'm actually pretty good on skates."
How does it feel to be a first-round draft pick in the Canadian Football League and have the opportunity to play for your hometown team?
"It's nice to have a fallback. It's definitely an option. It'd be nice to play there, but the ultimate goal is the NFL. I'd like to try to get a couple of tryouts and see how that goes. I always grew up a BC (British Columbia) Lions fan. I've been to a lot of their games. We actually played our championship games in their stadium. I've already played two games there."
Having an offensive line that has more players with game experience has raised expectations for the unit. What kind of goals or expectations are there for this group?
"They're expecting us to do better this year, as we should. There are definitely a lot more guys that know what they're doing compared to years before. We're not scrambling as much at the beginning of this year to help guys learn the system."
You have already finished your degree in retailing and now you're working towards your second degree in psychology. Why is education so important to you?
"I want to play football for a while longer, but you have to have a degree. You have to have a fallback. I have one degree and I'm working on another, so it was very important to me to get a good education so that I can get a job after football."
What have you enjoyed about your time here at Carolina?
"I love how everyone is so friendly down here. Williams-Brice Stadium has a great atmosphere. Being able to play in front of 80,000-plus people is pretty awesome."
What are some goals that you have for this year?
"I hope we have a great year. Not going to a bowl game last year wasn't a lot of fun. We need to play well and get to the best bowl game we can."