Tyrone Sorrells, a former Georgia Tech and Georgia football player and one of the best athletes in Buford High School history, died Thursday morning after a long illness. He was 55.
Sorrells was a Parade All-America tight end at Buford in 1981. He also led Gwinnett County in scoring and rebounding as a basketball player and was the Class A runner-up in the 220- and 440-yard dashes in track and field.
Sorrells signed with Georgia in 1982 after a recruitment that led to Georgia being placed on probation. Sorrells transferred to Georgia Tech and played the 1985 and 1986 seasons as an offensive lineman under Bill Curry.
While at Tech, Sorrells acknowledged that he was the student-athlete cited in an NCAA investigation that led to Georgia being docked seven football scholarships over two seasons. The NCAA found that Georgia alumnus had given Sorrells a $290 loan to buy a $900 used car.
Sorrells was taken in the 12th round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Saints, though he never played in an NFL game.
“He was great individual, definitely someone that you could appreciate as a teammate and a person, a very likeable guy,” said former Buford teammate Michael Carson, now head football coach at Georgia Prep Sports Academy. ”Growing up in Buford, he didn’t have much family-wise. His athletic ability was his ticket out. He was one of the best athletes, maybe the first great one, to come out of Buford to have that major college potential.”
Sorrells was one of five inaugural members of the Buford Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Sorrells is survived by a wife, Tonya, and two children, both college students.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.