Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorensen (4) throws while being pursued out of the pocket by UNLV defensive end B.J. Bell (92) and defensive lineman Tyler Gaston (99) in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Las Vegas. On Saturday, Sorensen became the first SUU player to be drafted in the NFL when he was selected by San Diego in the seventh round.

CEDAR CITY — Midway through first half of Southern Utah's annual spring football game, its 2012 quarterback made school history when Brad Sorensen became the first SUU player to ever be drafted by the National Football League.

The San Diego Chargers made Sorensen the 221st selection in the 2013 draft.

"That's great, it's exciting," SUU head coach Ed Lamb said. "The key is, he's good, he's got legitimate ability and he's going to get a shot. He was going to get a shot whether he got drafted or not, I knew that."

A 2012 and 2013 Payton Award finalist, Sorensen threw for 3,139 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2012 to give him three straight seasons with over 3,000 passing yards. He finished his career as the school's all-time leading passer, holding all of the school's career and single-season passing records as well as all of its career total yards records.

Sorensen finished his three-year career at SUU with 9,445 passing yards and 61 touchdowns. This past season he also set the single-season pass attempts record with 439, his 273 completions are second on the school's list (behind his own 288 in 2011) and the 3,139 passing yards are third (also behind his own 3,163 in 2010 and 3,143 in 2011). His 23 TD passes were the most during his career and they rank third on the SUU single-season list.

In 2012, Sorensen earned the FCS Elite Quarterback Award from College Football Performance Awards, was a second-team all-Big Sky honoree and received all-America recognition from the College Sports Journal. He also participated in the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

This past season, Sorensen completed 273-of-439 passes for 3,139 yards and 23 touchdowns while working with largely his third set of receivers in three years. He threw for over 300 yards five times — at Portland State (311), vs. Sacramento State (327), vs. Weber State (320), vs. Eastern Washington (392) and at North Dakota (363) — had a pair of four-touchdown games, at Cal and at Portland State; and completed over 60 percent of his passes six times — at Cal (.689), at Portland State (.750), vs. Sacramento State (.625), vs. Weber State (.702), vs. Eastern Washington (.767) and at

North Dakota (.655).

In 2011, he was named the Great West Conference's Offensive Player of the Year and he earned first-team all-GWC honors from both the coaches and media for the second straight season. As a sophomore in 2010, he completed 261-of-390 passes for a school-record 3,163 passing yards and 21 touchdowns.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Sorensen gives the Chargers three quarterbacks on their roster, behind Philip Rivers and Charlie Whitehurst.