Saluting Those Who Serve starts on staff with Lamar Sorey
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — At 18 years old, Lamar Sorey had earned a scholarship to play football at Stillman College. Before he got the opportunity to put on a football helmet, budget cuts at the school ended the football program.
Sorey returned home, yearning to be part of something bigger than himself. He thought that would be on the football field, but there was a bigger calling.
“My dad was military, my uncle, just about all the men in my family were in the military and had served before. I came back home for a short period of time and ultimately then decided to join the military,” Sorey told Gators Online this week.
“It was easy for me. I say that because coming from a small town I had the desire to get out and be part of something bigger and better than myself. I kind of always had been playing football from PeeWee to high school. Ultimately I wanted to be part of a team and contribute, serve a purpose.”
In a short period of time, Sorey went from his hometown of Campbellton, Florida to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and then to basic training at Fort Jennings in South Carolina. Sorey was a logistics specialist in the Army.
As he explained to Gators Online, logistics specialists are the “force behind the fight.” Florida’s Director of Football Communications Rick Hurtado, a former Marine, explained that logistics takes care of the “three B’s”: beds, beans and bullets.
Sorey had a unique opportunity while serving in the Army.
“Even though I was a logistics specialist, I got attached to an infantry unit. Even though I was logistics, I was serving alongside some of my infantrymen and going on some of their missions. I was a combat vehicle driver, helping those guys out and we would do all types of missions throughout the night,” Sorey told Gators Online. “Being alongside them and doing logistics, I got a lot of respect for those guys and got a chance to see what they do from a boots-on-the-ground standpoint. It’s amazing and a great journey. It created a strong brotherhood, and I loved every bit about it.”
Sorey brings the Army principles and tenants to football
Sorey was awarded the Army Achievement Medal in 2017 and the Army Commendation Medal in 2018. After leaving the military he attended Middle Tennessee State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management while cutting his teeth on the football staff.
“I started out as a student assistant. Worked my way up to an intern and then worked my way up to an assistant running backs coach. I’m thankful for all the opportunities,” Sorey said. “I had a connection with Tony Franklin at the time. He gave me a lot of insight, a lot of advice. He was the offensive coordinator. The guy I still talk to today, Rick Stockstill. He was the head coach and he allowed me to come on. He molded me and trained me. I saw the way that he worked, and I took it and ran with it.”
Sorey worked with the Blue Raiders until 2020 and transitioned to the Jacksonville Jaguars, serving as a scouting assistant. Then Billy Napier called and offered him an opportunity to join his staff in a quality control role. Sorey accepted and now assists the personnel staff with player evaluations and recruiting.
Sorey brings to Florida the core values learned during his time in the Army, but also sees it being instilled every day.
“The message that Coach speaks throughout the building and seeing the guys as I navigate my way in and out the building is literally all the same principles that’s built off the Army core values and the military core values,” Sorey said. “Leadership. You want guys that are loyal. Guys that are going to do their duties and you want to pay respect to those guys.
“You want the selfless service of those guys, and you want integrity and the personal courage to go out there and do it every day. Day in and day out. Those are some of the core values that I live by myself. Loyalty. Duty. Respect. Selfless service. Honor. Integrity. Respect. Courage.”
On this Veteran’s Day, we at Gators Online would like to salute Lamar Sorey, Rick Hurtado and all the men and women who serve our country.
Thank you for your service.