The AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball could turn into Mr. Hottest Prospect in College Basketball.
Westlake High’s Marcus Thornton is considering requesting a release from his letter-of-intent from Clemson, his father told the AJC on Tuesday evening. Georgia Tech and Georgia are among the numerous schools rumored to be interested in the 6-foot-7 Thornton.
On Monday, Clemson’s Oliver Purnell accepted the head coaching job at DePaul. Purnell was a major reason on why Thornton signed with Clemson over Wake Forest and Maryland. Thornton had not had any official contact with Clemson representatives by Tuesday evening.
“We’re talking as a family and trying to sort things out,” Billy Thornton said. “It’s not like Clemson still isn’t an option. We just don’t know who the new coach will be.
“Beyond that, we’ve talked among ourselves about requesting a release from Clemson but we don’t know for sure. That’s one course of action to consider.”
What about the rumors about Marcus and Georgia Tech or Georgia?
“I haven’t had any conversations with them,” the elder Thornton said. “We have had some people suggest that some schools, including some local ones, are very interested in Marcus. But we haven’t had any confirmation.”
This is how it usually works in college basketball: If a recruit has signed a letter-of-intent and then requests a release after the head coach of that particular school changes job, then the recruit is usually granted a release.
For example, Loganville Christian center Daniel Miller signed with Georgia last year, but requested a release after Dennis Felton was fired. New UGA coach Mark Fox met with Miller and quickly granted the release. Miller ended up signing with rival Georgia Tech.
If Thornton had waited until after his senior year to sign, he would’ve likely been one of the country’s top senior prospects. He blossomed into a complete all-around player, averaging 24 points and 12 rebounds. He carried his high school team to the championship game in Georgia’s largest classification, but missed the game after suffering a high-ankle sprain in warm-ups.
Thornton won a slew of awards within the last month, including being named to Parade Magazine’s All-America team.
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