Sorensen's shoes can't distract from kicking success in BYU football fall camp

2011-08-11T17:25:00Z 2013-11-06T21:45:05Z Sorensen's shoes can't distract from kicking success in BYU football fall campJared Lloyd - Daily Herald Daily Herald
August 11, 2011 5:25 pm  • 

As sophomore kicker Justin Sorensen trotted onto the field on Day 5 of BYU football camp Thursday morning, it was hard not to get distracted by his shoes.

His kicking foot had a black-and-neon-green cleat on while his other foot sported a metallic gold shoe.

It was an eye-catching combination.

"We accidentally ordered the wrong color," Sorensen admitted. "So I have these neon green ones. The left cleat isn't broken in yet, so when I wear it I kill my foot. For now, I'm wearing the ugliest shoe combination you could dream up in gold and lime green."

The other Cougar football players

"The kickers are their own breed and they kind of do what they want to do," said sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps. "They are a funny group. It's amazing what they do and get away with. If any of us went out there like that, we'd get made fun of and sent back to the locker room."

The shoes, however, aren't the only thing that is maybe people take notice of Sorensen. The sophomore has been getting a number of field goal opportunities during scrimmages and has been hammering the ball through the uprights.

"It's still a little early to call it consistent but, man, it's a good start - and from a long ways away too, which is nice," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

"I'll have to make some hard decisions when the ball gets to about the 35-yard line and going in, what we do from there. He looks like he's well within range, at least at that point - maybe even farther out. I have to get a great feel by the time we get to our first game about how consistent he is from there, and create enough situations to determine that."

Over the last two days, Sorensen recalled going 17-of-18 from various distances, although he admitted that some of the kicks have looked a little strange.

"The more we get used to having a snap and hold, because we haven't got to do it very long, sometimes I'll start going a little early," Sorensen said. "Then I'll have to stop a little bit and I'll overshoot it and I'll hit with my ankle. I'm still working with these new cleats, which puts a funky spin on the ball a little bit. Give it a week and we'll have our routine."

Even with the improvements that need to be make, special teams coach Nick Howell likes what he is seeing so far.

"He looks good" Howell said. "He's in good shape and concentrating well. We lost the all-time leading scorer at the school and we need him to continue to be consistent."

Sorensen said he's working toward doing that so he can be set when the Cougars need a field goal.

"I love knowing that I could be that asset to my team," the sophomore said. "I love pressure. Pressure helps me so much. Knowing that as soon as we cross that line, I've got to be ready to go. The team counts on me to make it and that pumps me up for the game."

The team was certainly behind Sorensen during Tuesday's session at the indoor practice facility as they tried to help him make a 67-yarder, but the two attempts went wide.

"I was disappointed in myself for missing it," Sorensen said. "I love the long ball and I was happy that Coach Mendenhall let me even attempt it."

The sophomore said his personal best is 76 yards, but credited a windy day for helping him reach that mark.

Sorensen managed that feat before he had the exotic footwear, but Heaps said he supports the kicker doing what he needs to do to be successful.

"Whatever he needs to put on his feet to put it right down the middle, I'm all for it," Heaps said. "But we're going to stick to our black-and-white shoes."

Showtime: Cougar fans will get their first opportunity to check out Mendenhall and Co. on Friday morning at 10:15 a.m. BYU supporters will also be allowed to watch during the afternoon session, which is scheduled to start at 4:50 p.m.

That all sets the stage for Saturday's first scrimmage, which will be at LaVell Edwards Stadium at 10:15 a.m. and will probably be the best time for spectators to gauge where the team is currently at.

First interception - or was it?: Heaps was credited with his first interception during team action as sophomore safety Daniel Sorensen was able to take the ball away on a long pass intended for senior wide receiver McKay Jacobson.

It appeared, however, that the ball squirted away from Sorensen as he tried to gather it in before landing on the ground.

If the coaches had elected to go to video review, Heaps might still be interception-free - although later in practice he nearly saw junior linebacker Uona Kaveinga snatch away a pass in the end zone.

Crunch time: The team sported full pads for the first time, meaning there were some big hits being made on both sides of the ball.

"They were anxious to run into each other," Mendenhall said. "Sometimes that takes away a little bit of execution in terms of added energy. But this team likes to compete. I felt it was important once we put the pads on to let them go rather than trying to hold them back."

Camp notes: Freshman tight end Colby Jorgensen was on the sideline in a sling after dislocating his shoulder when he was hit by junior defensive back Preston Hadley on Wednesday. His return is still unknown ... Junior safety Mike Hague grabbed another pick during on 7-on-7 drills ... Junior running back David Foote had a 14-yard touchdown after he caught a short pass from junior quarterback James Lark, broke through a tackle and dashed into the end zone ... senior running back JJ Di Luigi came up hobbling at one point, but the injury wasn't serious.

Daily Herald Sports Editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. He can also be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.

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