Freshman Xavian Sorey is the future of the linebacker position, and he could be the next great linebacker to come through Georgia.
Sorey is one-third of what is perceived to be the best linebacker class for Georgia in the past decade: Smael Mondon, Jamon Dumas-Johnson, and Sorey. All three should make a difference early on in their careers, and Sorey has the chance to be the best out of the group.
He committed to Georgia on Early National Signing Day. Sorey's decision came down to the Bulldogs, Alabama, and Florida. The clincher in this recruitment was the relationships that Sorey developed with this staff, especially head coach Kirby Smart and inside linebackers coach Glenn Schuman.
He played his high school football for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Sorey transferred to IMG for his senior year to prepare himself for college by playing better talent.
In the leadup to his commitment, the Georgia staff made several pitches to Sorey, including a clever video posted to Smart's Twitter account. Sorey is known as "The Barber" because, during a campus visit, he gave Schumann a haircut.
Sorey has all of the athletic traits that a three-down linebacker needs. His top-end speed is impressive, and he explodes out of his stance to find the ball.
His game needed refinement entering college, and playing his senior year at IMG did smooth off some rough edges. Georgia was satisfied with his progress during the offseason and expects him to get some opportunities in garbage time during the fall.
Sorey combines the skillsets of Dumas-Johnson and Mondon. Coming into college, Mondon was regarded as an unpolished, freak athlete, while Dumas-Johnson was ready for action despite not being the same athlete.
In high school, Sorey flashed signs of elite athleticism while also showing that he does have natural football instincts. His pass coverage improved every year in high school, and he began to fit the run better at IMG.
The other two linebacker signees have roadblocks to overcome in the future, and Sorey is tailor-made to play inside linebacker. His upside screams first-round draft pick, but he has to become a more consistent player if he hopes to achieve that.
When you look around the NFL Sorey fits the profile of an inside linebacker. He has elite athletic traits with sound processing skills and the ability to make any play on the field.
Sorey was named to the SI99 list, and the staff had glowing remarks about what he could become. Here is what they had to say about him on Early National Signing Day.
"Sorey physically looks like a young college football player right now and his game is in an even better position. Few can profile like an instant impact prospect on either side of the ball but he has the tools to play running back or like a hybrid defender at a high level. Sorey is comfortable all over the field but his ability to play all three downs on defense as an edge or elite underneath coverage defender makes a hybrid role perhaps his best bet on Saturdays and likely Sundays down the line."
As for his health, Sorey missed spring practice due to an offseason surgery to his foot and is expected back. It is the second time in as many seasons that he's had a surgical operation performed on his foot.
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