Daniel Sorensen is a professional football strong safety. He was an undrafted free agent in 2014 when he left Brigham Young University and although several NFL teams called him, only one head coach reached out, and that was Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs, himself a former Cougar. In May 2014 Sorensen signed a two-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs and he started in special teams and spent six weeks on the club's practice squad. In March 2017, the Chiefs signed him to a four-year, $16 million contract extension and with Eric Berry out with an Achilles' injury, Sorensen now had his shot. On January 6, 2018, Sorensen started a playoff game for the first time in his four-year career and recorded three combined tackles during a 22–21 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He was on injured reserve after a knee injury in training camp from September 2 to November 6 in 2018.
Sorensen played for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV (2020). He had 6 tackles as the Chiefs beat the 49ers 31-20. He also played for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV (2021). Leading up to the Super Bowl, he had a career-best 89 tackles this year, while adding five pass deflections, three interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles. The Chiefs lost to the Buccaneers 31-9, and Sorensen finished the game with six tackles, including three solo stops.
Sorensen was born on March 5, 1990, in Riverside, California. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a full-time missionary to Costa Rica. He married Whitney Jill Halford in 2013 and they are the parents of four children.
- We know Church members and priesthood holders who have experienced success at the highest levels of professional athletics. There are many good examples, but I can list only a few here for the sake of time. You might recognize some of these athletes: in baseball, Jeremy Guthrie and Bryce Harper; in basketball, Jabari Parker and Jimmer Fredette; in soccer, Ricardo Rojas; in rugby league, William Hopoate; and in football, Taysom Hill and Daniel Sorensen. Each has made significant contributions to his sport.
- While they are extremely successful in their sports, these athletes would be the first to admit they are not perfect athletes or perfect human beings. They work hard to be the best in their sport—and to live the gospel. They get up if they stumble, and they strive to endure to the end.
He later quoted Sorensen as saying: “A good playbook is a plan that uses the talents and strengths of each team member. . . . As I study and practice the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can know how to use my strengths to serve in the priesthood.”
Sorensen was part of a Facebook live event held on May 16, 2021, as part of a series sponsored by the Road to Hope and Peace introduced by Gordon L. Treadaway, president of the Orem Utah Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ. He spoke for about an hour on topics related to his faith, family and football, took a few questions at the end. He also explained the reason for his nickname "Dirty Dan":
- The nickname originated during a film session early in his NFL career as coaches and players watched No. 49 tackle an opponent short of the first down marker. It was a key play in the game and Sorensen was “fired up.” Following the play, the video showed the hard-hitting safety barking excitedly in the opposing player’s direction, but coaches and teammates could only guess what Sorensen was saying because there was no audio recording.
- Teammates jokingly added their own caption to the silent film, suggesting the clean-cut, Latter-day Saint Sorensen was yelling words like “dumb” or “silly,” as opposed to strong expletives. One teammate called him, “Dirty Dan,” and the nickname stuck.
- “They understood that I have a clean mouth, but that I have this side that kind of gets fired up, so they said I’m ‘Dirty Dan,’” Sorensen said.
Most of the virtual devotional was about Sorensen's faith.
- For Daniel Sorensen, the experience of winning a Super Bowl does not compare to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- Winning the biggest game of the year is a supreme thrill, but it fades. The peace and joy of following Christ stays with you. It overshadows everything in life and provides a broader perspective, the NFL player and Latter-day Saint said.
- “There is not much of a comparison,” Sorensen said. “Winning the Super Bowl doesn’t heal or fix other challenges. ... Winning the Super Bowl doesn’t automatically make your life that much better. But being a disciple of Christ does. The lasting effects are so much greater.”