WildcatReport - New Orleans DE Barryn Sorrell commits to Northwestern
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New Orleans DE Barryn Sorrell commits to Northwestern


Barryn Sorrell's recruitment was on the upswing this spring.

The three-star defensive end out of Holy Cross (La.) saw his offer sheet swell up to double digits after a breakout junior campaign in the vaunted New Orleans Catholic League last fall. That ultimately left Sorrell with a difficult decision at the end of a long-winding spring that was abruptly cut short by the global CoVid-19 pandemic.

In the end, all roads for Sorrell led to Northwestern. The New Orleans native committed to the Big Cats on Wednesday, signaling the end of a recruitment that had Vanderbilt, Missouri, Baylor, Kansas, Boston College, Purdue, Memphis and Tulane as finalists in the end.

Sorrell, the No. 16 overall prospect in Louisiana, is the 10th member of the Wildcats' 2021 recruiting class that entered the day ranked inside the Rivals national team rankings at No. 42 in the country. Sorrell is the fourth three-star prospect in the group and the second defensive lineman along with Ohio native Najee Story.

Sorrell becomes the first Louisiana native on track to join the Big Cats since 2018 when three-star Slidell (La.) Northshore defensive back Jeremiah McDonald signed with Northwestern. If and when Sorrell signs with the Wildcats, he will be just the fifth player out of The Boot to sign with the team in the Rivals era, joining McDonald (2018), Zack Oliver (2011), Collin Ellis (2010) and Cooper Gerami (2009).

All of the Wildcats' signees out of Louisiana have come in the Pat Fitzgerald era. in Evanston, Ill.


"The plan they had for me and the school is the best of both worlds. I get a top degree and I play in the Big Ten. The staff set up a lot of meetings, which really brought Northwestern to me and they did a great job at it."

"Coach (Marty) Long and Coach (Pat) Fitzgerald (played big roles). The relationships we built are great and they both are great guys that i can assure (you) will be there for me and I would love to play for. I am very high on those relationships and it really helped me choose Northwestern because I knew I would be surrounded by a great staff that has been together for a while."

"This decision was not easy. Schools like Baylor, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Purdue, Kansas, Louisville and Memphis were all doing a great job recruiting me as well. Northwestern separated themselves by showing consistency, a great culture, great academics and great football."

"At Northwestern, academically I will fit in because I have always been a guy that works hard in the classroom; I haven't received anything less than an A my whole high-school career. I am very excited to play in the Big Ten and compete for championships like they have done. I get to play against some really big schools and I'm very excited about that."


Sorrell is a versatile defensive lineman that is coming off a breakout junior campaign in 2019. Last season, Louisiana's top-ranked strong-side end accounted for 44 total tackles, including 4 sacks and a forced fumble.

Sorrell splits snaps at defensive end and tackle, and lines up as a 3-, 4- and 5-technique on any given snap. At 6-foot-4 and 253 pounds, Sorrell boasts a 78-inch wingspan and 32.5-inch arms, giving requisite size for the position and versatility to play on the edge or eventually slide inside to tackle.

Technically speaking, Sorrell has an advanced set of pass-rush techniques ranging from a push-pull-swim to a two-hand shuck. He is powerful enough to bull-rush the opposition and athletic enough to utilize a spin move coming off the edge. Sorrell is quick out of his stance with very good first-step quickness to split blockers. HE also extends his arms and can absorb blockers and shed them when it's time to pursue quarterbacks and ball-carriers.

Sorrell is a playmaker when he can advance into the backfield. He has an impressive football IQ to read situations and play them accordingly.

Moving forward, Sorrell will need to continue to add strength to battle elite offensive tackles and interior lineman. He'll have to improve his ability to shed blockers and continue to work on his flexibility, ability to bend and dip around the edge. With four sacks as a junior last season, he'll be expected to expand upon those numbers as a senior for Holy Cross.