Thornton: No plans to be in Athens for Georgia-Auburn

By all accounts, Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton will choose between Georgia and Auburn sometime between now and Christmas. So surely he plans to be at their game this Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

Guess again.

“I don’t know if I’m going up there or not,” the 6-foot-2, 280-pound senior said. “Probably not. I definitely won’t be there for an official. Got some things to take care of.”

When it comes to his recruitment, Thornton — the top uncommitted defensive lineman in the state — is laid back to the point of being supine. While college coaches and fans pull out their hair wondering where and when Thornton might commit, the Jaguars’ hulking noseguard remains cool as the November breeze.

“I’m just taking my time, trying to enjoy the process,” he said.

I had a short telephone call with Thornton earlier this week. Here is an abridged Q&A of that conversation:

Q: How was your visit to Penn State this past weekend?

A: “It was good. Everything went like it was supposed to. I felt contented. I met a lot of new people, got to know Coach [Larry] Johnson better. I really enjoyed meeting Coach [Joe] Paterno. It was a good game. It was a good trip.”

Q: Contented, huh? Did you commit, or are you close to committing?

A: “No, no. Everything’s still the same. I went up there to get a look at football outside the South. I wanted to see how it stacks up. Not bad.”

Q: So is it indeed a two-team race between Georgia and Auburn then?

A: “Those are two schools that I’ve always liked.”

Q: Do you like one of the best?

A: “I like them both.”

Q: What about Michigan? You said you wanted to get a look at Michigan?

A: “I’m still trying to do that but I don’t really know if that’s going to happen. I’ve got some conflicts, some family things to take care of. We’ll see.”

Q: What’s this fascination with Big Ten schools anyway?

A: “My whole thing with the Big Ten conference is I always thought the players were so big, but not so fast. But I was standing right next to them and they didn’t see that big to me. I was bigger than most of the guys I saw. The speed is about the same as the SEC though.”

Q: What’s the latest you’ve heard from Georgia?

A: “I actually talked to Coach [Rodney] Garner the other night. He told me about the things that were going on there and I told him what was up with me. We talk a lot.”

Q: How do you feel about the state playoffs starting this weekend? (Thornton’s undefeated and No. 5-ranked Jaguars take on 6-4 Bradwell Institute Friday night.)

A: “I’m fired up about that situation. [Bradwell is] a tough team if you let them get their motors running. It’s all up to the defensive line this week because we’ve got to make sure they never get started.”

You’d never know from the lack of urgency that Thornton will graduate from high school in December and enroll in college in January. The reality is, Thornton is a shrewd young man who is playing this whole recruiting process close to his vest. He is trying to absorb as much as information as possible so that he can make an informed decision — whenever he happens to get around to it.

41 comments Add your comment

We Need You

November 12th, 2009
5:20 am

It would be great to have Mike in red and black. This is one we really, really need. Hope Coach Garner can bring him into the Bulldog Nation. We may be down but we’re not out. Next year is going to be totally different with Willie gone and BoBo demoted to qb coach.
If CMR don’t pull the trigger on Willie/BoBo then it will surely hit the fan in Athens. Winners
like Mike Thornton is what it’s going to take to give the UGA program a boost. Come on Mike put the ink on the Bulldog offer.


November 12th, 2009
5:29 am

Did anyone see the Mark Richt show after the TT game? Don’t know about you guys but that post game locker room atmoshere was as upbeat as a funeral. No wonder we are in such decline. This program is close to being dormant if not already. Come on Dawgs, get some fire in your gut and beat the heck out of Auburn.


November 12th, 2009
6:11 am

Did anyone see the Gene Chizik show after the Furman game? Don’t know about you guys but that post game locker room atmoshere was as upbeat as a funeral. No wonder we are in such decline. This program is close to being dormant if not already. Come on Tigers, get some fire in your gut and beat the heck out of Georgia.

Joe Coxs' shadow

November 12th, 2009
6:48 am

I will lead this team to victory, you guys have never played football, what do you know?….i am a great leader of men, my coach said so, my team loves me, my coaches love me, i never lost a high school game..Go Dogs!!!!


November 12th, 2009
7:02 am

Miami 33 tech 17

Thomas SENOR

November 12th, 2009
7:08 am

Coach Richt needs to take the team to eat at Pappi’s. You know the place it’s near you. Great cuban sandwiches!


November 12th, 2009
7:12 am

Do you guys really think a top-flight defensive player would want to go to UGA and get involved in that defensive mess? Is the defensive coordinator staying or leaving? Maybe he stays one more year – then Thornton would have to switch systems, impacting his numbers – making him not look as good for the pro scouts.

If UGA wants him, they need to declare their coordinator plans NOW.


November 12th, 2009
7:27 am

Dont beg the kid! If you don’t wanna be a Dawg then hit the road big guy!!!! GATA DAWGS!!!


November 12th, 2009
7:56 am

Hey Michael, go to Georgia Tech where you can start right away!!!!! You can’t go wrong with a contender that desperately needs defensive help.


November 12th, 2009
7:58 am

Look at Calvin, Tashard and many other Tech players that are in the NFL today. Sometimes being in a so called lesser conference allows you to shine your light brighter. Just ask Demarius Thomas. The guy only catches one or two passes a game and he is a FINALIST for the best wide out in the country!!!


November 12th, 2009
8:25 am

Tech fan here. Roland shut up, you must be a mut at heart.

Longtime Vol

November 12th, 2009
8:44 am

Two UT players arrested early morning for armed robbery. Starting safety Janzen Jackson and receiver Nu’Keese Richardson.

L Kiffin,

November 12th, 2009
8:51 am

The two Vol players had semi automatic weapons, according to the idiots on 790. Big deal, most handguns now are semiautomatic. I’ll suspend ‘em both next year when we play Tennessee-Chattanooga or South Carolina State

recruiting cracks me up

November 12th, 2009
8:54 am

Always enjoy it when a kid, obviously raised well, keeps his options to himself and doesn’t seek to be in the spotlight changing his mind every other week. It doubly cracks me up to see middle aged men falling all over themselves trying to get the ’scoop’ on what the 18 year old in question is going to do with his next 4-5 years. When you think about it, what a pathetic bunch of losers we are for hanging on every word a teenager utters. But hey, I could be wrong.


November 12th, 2009
8:55 am


Voice of Reason

November 12th, 2009
9:38 am

I think we will all see well thought out changes in the UGA program for next year, and with a smooth transition into these changes. This year has been a sad situation that CMR recognizes, so rest assured that what is necessary will become fact. The young men that have chosen to cast their lot with UGA will be a happy bunch. The future is bright, in spite of what the negative thinkers have to say.

Joe 5-Star Recruit

November 12th, 2009
9:41 am

Dang, I am so confused now. I REALLY wanted to do UGA, I mean go to UGA, cause I want to dance to that gansta rap no matter what the score is and commit a lot of them personal fouls. Rickt looks like he keeps it real and lets his playas do as they please.

But NOW, the brothas in UT are allowed to do arm robbery in spare time.


PS – I don’t wanna go do Florida, I don’t want no man-kiss from a head coach.


November 12th, 2009
9:45 am

BIG MIKE your work is proven you would look great on the flats of GT dont leave our great state for big 10 football. much love and respectlets take care of these playoffs.


November 12th, 2009
9:46 am

Georgia Tech has 2 other defensive tackles (Green and McCoy) ready to commit this February, and I’m sure they have another opening for Mr. Thornton if he is interested in becoming a Yellow Jacket.

Go to for a preview of the Georgia Tech game against Duke and other Georgia Tech Football articles.


November 12th, 2009
9:49 am

I really don’t understand all these kids from the warm south wanting to play football in the blizzards from the boring north.


November 12th, 2009
10:19 am

Come to Penn State…

There is no better d-line coach than Larry Johnson. He will finish preparing you for the next level. And if that doesn’t pan out, you will have a solid education from a great university to fall back on.


November 12th, 2009
11:00 am

3 seniors on the D line at UGA…come in and compete for immediate playing time. Isn’t that what all freshmen want…to play right away?


November 12th, 2009
11:17 am


It’s obvious you don’t know much about College Football. Declare our coordinator plans now…what a joke. UGA has had many DL go to the pro level under Rodney Garner…(Stroud, Sullivan,Seymour, Howard, Moses, Pollack etc.) You really think it matters if the defense is a mess. Actually, it would be a selling point of how bad we need this young many…As bad as you may think WM is as a def coordinator, he seems to be a really good recruiter. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons that CMR has kept him this long because of his recruiting ability.

Brian LB-U

November 12th, 2009
11:29 am

“By all accounts, Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton will choose between Georgia and Auburn sometime between now and Christmas.”

Huh? I seem to recall this very paper (you) saying “Thornton told me this week that Penn State is “pretty much” his favorite.” a few weeks back back on October 7th. I realize you have a constituency to feed here, but you’re doing them a major disservice dismissing Penn State like that, especially since a quick Google search shows Michael was “blown away” by last weekend’s visit to Happy Valley.


November 12th, 2009
11:36 am

Why not come to UF where there’s sun, sand, NCs, women and food!!! Think about it.


November 12th, 2009
11:45 am

hugeauburnfan: Very original. Does Mommy still have to wipe you too? If you are a man I understand why you have a hole in the top of your johnson—so you can be open-minded.

Mr. UGAinfo

November 12th, 2009
11:59 am

Cantondawg u r partially right, yea CRG coached Stroud, Seymour, Sullivan but not Moses, Howard and Pollack was coached by Jon Fabris. Garner is DT coach only!


November 12th, 2009
12:26 pm

cantondawg – seriously, YOU’RE the one who knows squat about college football.

Do you really think a top-flight kid who could sign anywhere wants to go to a school where the D-Coordinator is doomed to be fired? NO. Figure that out yet? It’s NO.

What’s Rodney Garner got to do with squat? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO YOUR D-COORDINATOR IS? HUH? Martinez will be out at the end of the season, or the end of next season. His assistants will probably go with him. No top-flight player wants to knowingly put up with that crap. Richt could fire him now (if Richt had balls) and promote someone and that could help. Or he could give a positive endorsement and that could help also. However, he’s just going to suck his thumb and do nothing. Therefore, Thornton’s not coming.

Get a clue.


November 12th, 2009
12:37 pm

I know a few of the Penn State football players and during his visit this past weekend, he told them that he was going to commit to Penn State. I can’t say for sure if he told the coaches this, but I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t end up in Blue and White.

confused gator

November 12th, 2009
12:48 pm

That sand you speak of at UF is DIRT!! Gainesville is the armpit of Florida!!

Too tough 44

November 12th, 2009
12:59 pm

Hey Its Great to Be A Georgia Bulldog!


November 12th, 2009
1:03 pm

omg! florida has food and women! amazing


November 12th, 2009
3:51 pm

I have a feeling that if Thornton really wanted to go to UGA he would have committed by now…….. that being said if he waits long enough he will end up at Kentucky or some lower level team because Auburn and UGA are running out of scholarships..This has happened before – for ex. Brandon Perry, from Hawkinsville, a three time all-state DT at 300 + lbs. and cousin of former UGA great at DE (now with the NFL) Charles Johnson couldn’t make up his mind and now he is starting for Middle Tennesssee – not eactly SEC quality.

No Name

November 12th, 2009
6:23 pm

If I lived in or near Athes Ga. I would’t be putting any other town down. Also I can assure you dawg fans your rival college recruiters are bringing all this B.S. about coaching changes at UGA up when they talk to these young prospects. UGA doesn’t have any more “GLORY” or winning tradition than many other SEC schools. And don’t start posting all those old statistics about UGA’s great teams. Every school in the country has some winning history.

Left Handed Complement

November 12th, 2009
9:04 pm

Hey Bo Name—–This is all very silly and means exactly nothing. You can either react or act. There is a whole lot of reacting going on here. Some of you might want to get a life of your own for a change.Just think how interesting you might become.

freshman Tight end

November 12th, 2009
9:07 pm

DD do we need to post the TENN scores OR the FLA score? curious


November 12th, 2009
9:09 pm

Exactly right NO NAME… UGA “glory years” consisted of JAN KEMP

happy days are here again

November 12th, 2009
9:56 pm

this is awesome sports clip dawgs will love it


November 12th, 2009
10:25 pm


Since you’re correcting someone, let’s be very precise. Garner did coach Pollack during Pollack’s freshman season since Pollack played DT his freshman year. Pollack only moved to DE his sophomore year……. his breakout season.

Dont jerk my chain Dawg

November 13th, 2009
5:44 am

This guy is a waste if he doesnt know by now that he wants to come or commit to UGA . CMR needs to grow a damn pair and recruit a kid who Wants to be a Dawg. We dont need any hat tricks or jersey changing thugs because UGA has enough of them already.


November 16th, 2009
10:02 am

Coach Garner needs to get on down to Baxley and check out Appling County’s DT Dale Howard 6′3″ 280lbs.

He’s twice the man this Thornton kid is.