Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Revie Sorey

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Revie Sorey

As a senior for Coach Bob Blackman in 1974, Revie Sorey was a prime professional prospect and a bigger-than-life personality. "Rock Hollywood", as he was known to his teammates, stood 6 feet, 3 inches and weighed nearly 250 pounds. He opened holes for tailback Lonnie Perrin and protected quarterback Jeff Hollenbach. A product of Brooklyn, New York's famed Boys High School, Sorey was transformed from a prep tight end into an offensive guard due to his 4.8 speed over 40 yards. Selected a team co-captain in his final collegiate season, he was accorded second-team All-Big Ten honors.

The Chicago Bears chose Sorey in the fifth round of the 1975 NFL Draft, four rounds after fellow rookie Walter Payton. The two men played together for most of eight seasons, including a six-season stretch from 1976-81 that saw "Sweetness" rush for an average of nearly 1,500 yards per year. In Payton's NFL MVP season of 1977, Sorey teamed on the offensive line with center Dan Neal, guard Noah Jackson, and tackles Dennis Lick, Dan Jiggetts, Ted Albrecht and Lionel Antoine.

Sorey, who earned a master's degree in social work, was extraordinarily active in Chicago in terms of his charitable efforts, including the Boy Scouts, the Salvation Army, and the Carmelite Home for Abused and Abandoned Children. Following his NFL career, Sorey served a dozen years as the educational director of the Ada S. McKinley Community Services Center.

In March of 2012, Sorey suffered a massive stroke, robbing him of some of his motor skills and the ability to speak. Celebrating his 64th birthday today, he now resides at the Warren Barr Pavilion on the north side of Chicago.

Illini Birthdays:

Today: Cap Boso, football (55)

Monday: Ahmad Starks, basketball (25)

Tuesday: Willie Williams, track & field (86)

Wednesday: LaDaryl Hale, wrestling (38)

Thursday: Bill Krall, strength coach (73)

Friday: Paula Smith, golf coach

Saturday: Francis Edelen, wrestling (21)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore. Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter@B1GLLL. His website is http://www.SportsLLL.com.

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