Every preseason, it seems like there is one previously unknown player on the Packers roster that stands out. There is that one player whom fans love to watch and beg the coaches to play during the regular season.
In 2011, that player was linebacker Vic So’oto a rookie from BYU that went undrafted. At BYU, So’oto was the true definition of a ‘football player’ by playing tight end and defensive end. It’s not hard to see why So’oto would be so warmly embraced by Packer fans.
He did miss the majority of the 2006 and 2008 seasons due to injury, however, and given the Packers’ infamous luck with injury prone draft picks it is no surprise that So’oto went unselected on draft day last year.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. In July, the Packers signed So’oto as an undrafted free agent. Hoping to land a roster spot, he put on a show in the preseason against the Chiefs starters with 1.5 sacks and an interception before a nagging back injury that hampered him for most of the 2011 regular season.
You know what they say with the NFL fans when it comes to rookie players. The first impression is always the strongest.
As the Packers pass rush continued to be non-existent, fans began to clamor for So’oto. The lofty expectations placed on him by fans made you think he was another Clay Matthews.
The chance never came. However, entering the 2012 offseason healthy and with the Packers desperately seeking a pass rush it seemed that So’oto would finally get his chance to shine in OTAs and mini-camp.
Then Ted Thompson went and drafted USC linebacker/defensive end Nick Perry in the first round and proceeded to load up on defenders in the 2012 NFL Draft.
This clouds the picture for So’oto going into training camp and arguably could doom his career prospects in Green Bay. It’s a near certainty Perry will line up opposite of Matthews in a decent chunk of defensive formations, so where does that leave So’oto.