MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Daniel Sorensen was soaking in the moment, capturing it on a GoPro video camera strapped to his chest late Monday as the Kansas City Chiefs took the stage at the Super Bowl’s Opening Night event at Marlins Park.

The reason? He wanted to share that moment with his family.

The moments just keep on piling up for the former BYU safety, especially lately. The six-year NFL veteran has stepped into a starting role for Kansas City after talented rookie Juan Thornhill was lost to an ACL tear in late December.

Sorensen came up with two big plays in the divisional round against Houston — stopping a fake punt with an open-field tackle that flipped field position, then forcing a fumble on a kickoff return moments later, two plays that proved instrumental in the Chiefs rallying from down 24-0 to win 51-31.

Daniel Sorensen stuffs fake punt, forces fumble to help rally Chiefs within one win of Super Bowl

In the AFC championship game, Sorensen dropped Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill four yards short of a first down on a third-down scramble. He later had a 6-yard tackle for loss and a pass deflection on back-to-back plays.

This displays what value Sorensen brings as Kansas City advances to its first Super Bowl in 50 years. Come Sunday, he will have a crack at earning a championship ring with the Chiefs when they face the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.

Don’t expect Sorensen to thump his chest, though. For those who know the guy, none of this is a surprise. That’s why those who see his efforts — not just on game day — are the best to ask about elaborating on this particular defender.

“He’s a team player. We can count on him each and every day. I think most importantly, you understand he’s committed to the team. Whatever it is, he has to do it for the team,” fellow Kansas City safety Tyrann Mathieu said.

Sorensen is matter-of-fact about what role he fills in Kansas City. Recounting his journey from going undrafted after his BYU career to joining the Chiefs, he said, “I was the type of player they were looking for in an undrafted free agent, someone who could contribute on special teams and, when needed, help out on defense. I was able to fulfill that role over the years and that’s why they keep me around.”

That come-to-work, fight hard attitude is what stands out to those who see Sorensen do his job. This year, he played a reserve role on defense while serving as a special teams staple much of the season, until Thornhill’s injury. Sorensen managed 57 tackles during the regular season in that role and has 17 postseason tackles so far as a starter.

“He goes hard every day. I don’t talk a lot, I watch a lot. I look at a lot of things and I watch how he works his tail off day in and day out,” said first-year Chiefs running back Darwin Thompson, a former Utah State standout. Thompson recovered Sorensen’s forced fumble against Houston, returning it inside the Texans’ 10.

“He’s sweating early in the morning, coming back from workouts while everybody else is pulling up to the stadium. He’s a hard worker, he’s determined,” Thompson continued, on Sorensen’s drive. “That’s how a lot of those BYU guys are cut, they are hard-working go-getters and that’s exactly what Dan is.”

It’s an attitude that’s earned Sorensen the nickname Dirty Dan.

“Dan, you’ve seen him grow every year,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, himself a former BYU player, said of Sorensen. “The players nicknamed him Dirty Dan, which when you talk to him, he’s the most mild-mannered guy you’ve every met. He’s a great representative of BYU because he doesn’t swear, he doesn’t drink, he’s a great family guy, the whole works. 

“He took on this nickname because of the toughness he displays on the football field and how he goes about his business.” 

Mathieu, a two-time first-team All-Pro, appreciates what he sees in his fellow safety.

“He has been instrumental. Dan plays all over the field. He plays all the special teams units, and then we count on him on defense,” Mathieu said. “Even before Juan Thornhill went out with an ACL injury, Dan was making some plays for us (this year). I believe he’s the reason we won both of those Chargers games.”

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Twice this year, Sorensen made game-clinching interceptions. Both came against the Los Angeles Chargers, his two interceptions of the season.

It’s moments like those that perfectly display what Sorensen — a once-undrafted player who’s now one step away from a Super Bowl ring — brings to the field.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Succeed.

“He started off as a great special teams player and then he worked his way into being a safety for us. He does so much for Spags (Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) at so many positions, it’s a tribute to him and his work ethic,” Reid said.

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