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  Judging by the schools that showed interest, Mariano Sori-Marin appeared bound for the Ivy League. The linebacker from Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., caught the attention of Brown, Cornell, Harvard, Penn and Yale in 2017, and his cerebral approach looked like a good fit with any of those schools. "I like studying," Sori-Marin said. "People think of me as a little bit of a nerd sometimes in academics, and that translates over to football." One person's nerd is another person's student of the game, and that's what Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and his staff found when they recruited Sori-Marin. Three years later, the emerging leader will play a key role for a Minnesota defense hit hard by graduation. "We expect big things out of him, and I know he expects big things out of himself," said Fleck, whose 21st-ranked Gophers open their coronavirus-delayed season Saturday night against No. 18 Michigan at TCF Bank Stadium.

"If there's one person that's going to put more pressure on himself than me, it's going to be Mariano." With three-year starter Thomas Barber graduated and Kamal Martin off to the Green Bay Packers, the Gophers must replace a duo that combined for 429 tackles over the past three seasons. Sori-Marin, a 6-3, 245-pound junior, started seven games last year and showed the versatility to play the Mike (middle), Will (weakside) and Sam (strongside) positions. "Learning from guys like Thomas Barber and Kamal, who were exceptional students of the game - constantly doing film study, teaching me things - I was able to take that and help accelerate my game," said Sori-Marin, whose 42 tackles are most among any returning Gophers linebacker. - Minneapolis Star Tribune


(DS#75 ILB) Sr/2022 ILB Mariano Sori-MarinMinnesota
News Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune


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