I’m heading to Orlando for Under Armour Game but Mike Thornton is not

Today is a traveling day for me. I’m heading down to Orlando to cover the Under Armour High School All-America Game and the resident practices and skills challenges.

Well, technically I’m flying from Atlanta to Tampa and then driving to Orlando, which should make for some interesting challenges given these paranoid times. The reason for my circuitous route is the actual game is being played Saturday (11 a.m.) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg but all the practices and skills challenges and interview opportunities and such are being conducted near Disney in Orlando. (Seems they weren’t able to secure a facility to play the game in Orlando this year.) So I’ll be staying in the Land of Mickey for three nights before driving back to Tampa-St. Pete for the game.

Needless to say, I’ll be on the move most of the day Wednesday. But I’m going to try to update the blog regularly as I make my way from Point A to B to C and so on. And by this afternoon I should have some tangible news and information to share once I reach the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, God willing. Stay tuned because there’s no telling when or how often I’ll be providing updates once I hit the ground. . . . Make that, land.

Now on to some pertinent news regarding Mike Thornton.

I spoke to Stephenson’s ballyhooed defensive tackle on Tuesday and was surprised to learn that he has backed out of the Under Armour Game. I knew he had suffered an ankle injury in the Jaguars’ season-ending loss to Colquitt County in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs but I didn’t realize it was bad enough to possibly keep him out of this game. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Thornton is considered one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state and I was eager to see him go against some of the nation’s best offensive linemen. He was disappointed, too.

“Yeah, I would love to be down there,” Thornton said. “I was going to play up until recently but I finally had to call last week. It’s sad I can’t go but there’s no sense in it if I can’t play.”

So how bad is the ankle, I asked?

“It’s pretty messed up,” he said. “I can still walk on it and I can run on it a little bit but it popped in that last game and swelled up pretty good. I didn’t need to play on it and make it worse.”

Meanwhile, Thornton’s recruitment has slowly turned into a bad mystery novel, even for him it seems. At different times he has seemed like a strong lean toward Auburn, then Penn State, then Georgia. Now he tells me he’s trying to arrange visits to North Carolina State, Miami and/or Florida. At one time he hoped to visit Michigan, too, but never did.

This is the same Mike Thornton who planned on graduating early from high school and enrolling in college about right now. He and I laughed about that Tuesday.

“Now I’m going to sign on signing day,” he said. “There’s still some schools coming in and fighting for those last visits. They’re all trying to get me to come to their campus and I’m going to give them all a shot.”

Thornton has taken official visits only to Penn State and Georgia so far, so he still has three left. He said he’ll be taking one on Jan. 16, either to Miami or N.C. State. He’ll probably hit Auburn on one of the two remaining weekends after that.

“Hey, this is a lifetime decision so I want to consider all my options,” he said.

And who can blame him, right?

60 comments Add your comment

falcon

December 30th, 2009
6:31 am

I hope the big 3 at UGA helps convince Mike to stay in GA. Geno, Kade and Jeff are all gone to the NFL. Sounds like a chance for early playing time to me.

OtisCampbell

December 30th, 2009
7:07 am

I thought he had already committed to Tennessee.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

December 30th, 2009
7:07 am

He’s got to be thinking Georgia pretty hard. Just playing the field and I don’t blame him. I’d wait and see about the DC position which seems like what he’s doing?

USS Know it all

December 30th, 2009
7:09 am

If GarDner is named the new DC at UGA this weekend as expected I would say that may sway Thornton.

Toe Meets Leather

December 30th, 2009
7:26 am

Warning to all remedial English teachers at UGA: Prepare yourselves for an abundance of themes titled “Things to Do in Shreveport, LA.”

Rick

December 30th, 2009
7:30 am

Chip,

Good luck on I-4, you will need it.

Rick

December 30th, 2009
7:41 am

USS Know it all,

Rodney Garner, great recruiter; but it is a known fact that he does not develop the talent a D-Tackle: see NFL. Garner is consider one of the most important employees of the UGA football staff; but it is not his coaching prowess, but rather his ability to recruit.

If CMR names Garner as the DC, we are looking at 2, possibly 4 years of SEC anonymity.

Ryan

December 30th, 2009
7:42 am

Otis, you’re probably thinking of Michael Taylor.

brick

December 30th, 2009
7:51 am

Rick, you couldn’t be anymore wrong. Garner is one of the most respected college coaches in the entire NFL. His guys are always ready to step in and play at the next level with very little seasoning. My guess you are an imposter, most likely a Techie. Garner’s DTs shut down that high school offense they run at the joke by coke, although I admit it isn’t very hard to do and why high schools across the state are getting away from it.

Adrian Shadowmoss

December 30th, 2009
7:59 am

“They’re all trying to get me to come to there campus and I’m going to give them all a shot.”

Thornton taken official visits only to Penn State and Georgia so far,

————————————————————————
Hmmm. Seems as though this fellow needs to concentrate on his spelling first! They’re all trying to get me to come to THERE campus.” ???

And, what about “Thornton taken official visits…”??

I guess it’s the sign of the times. cutsy way to identify people by letters, grunts or combo first syllables. New world order.

Anyway, this guy is liable to end up at Liberty University or some other school that needs talent(?) like that.

Adrian

dd

December 30th, 2009
8:04 am

Rick

December 30th, 2009
8:04 am

Brick,

So are you saying that you want Garner to be the next UGA DC?

RomeDawg

December 30th, 2009
8:06 am

As for Garner not being a developer of talent we need to look no further than the NFL where there are numerous defensive lineman in the NFL. Now I don’t know what kind of “defensive tactician” he is but the man has the ability to put guys to the next level. As for Thornton, who can blame him for weighing all of his options. I would, too.

Toe Meets Leather

December 30th, 2009
8:06 am

Oooops I forgot my GT team plays in the worst conference in america and we were able to gain a BCS bid only by exploiting the weakness of the ACC. It was only when UGA beat us, much like they always do (8 of the last 9) that I realized how crappy and un-talented the nerds really are.

Toe Meets Leather

December 30th, 2009
8:13 am

ACC = 1-3

Only when the 2nd best team in the ACC plays the 6th or worst best team in another conference can they have a chance at winning

TampaGator

December 30th, 2009
8:15 am

Adrian….this is a blog story and blog respones about high school recruiting…and not a FCAT essay practice class. If you are looking for that, which it seems you are, try http://www.fcatexplorer.org. Otherwise, why don’t you post something about high school recruitng. Yesterday, everyone got off tract about where a kid lived. Come on……

Chip…it seems that Miami and/or Florida turned into just Miami from his comments.

Rick

December 30th, 2009
8:16 am

RomeDawg,

Ok, you and brick are correct in that the talent that Garner recruits to UGA do go to the NFL and for the most part excell, my point is that these same DT’s tend to under achieve at the college level vs the performance level at the NFL. And I think you are spot-on concerning doubt of his ability to coach the D, just because he has the ability to recruit (and according to your summation, develop talent at DT).

David

December 30th, 2009
8:17 am

LOL @ everyone thinking UGA for this kid…”oh he’ll be a perfect fit” most probably haven’t heard of him until this article…

GA wins NC in 2010

December 30th, 2009
8:19 am

Of course he (Brick) wants Garner to be the DC, Rick … I mean just look at how good the dogs played against the 9th best team in the big 12. At team with a 6-6 (3-5 conf) record for christ sake. That’s one heck’uva beatdown against the powerful Aggies.

The DDFs (Delusional Dog Fans) think their dogs will get 21 pts a game as result of good/bad special teams (KO return, blocked punt, bad snap on a punt). Plus block a FG, and get 2 ints a game. So yep, go ahead, cancel the 2010 season, and give GA the big crystal trophy.

Talk about a fan base grasping at straws. Another 5 loss season in 2010, and these DDFs will have Richt fired too. Geez, it does become quite comical though.

GA wins NC in 2010

December 30th, 2009
8:25 am

If GA wins the first few games in 2010, just watch the articles & blogs start flowing in saying it’s the “fill-in Mascot” who is the reason for winning …….

LOL

December 30th, 2009
8:26 am

This isn’t even a UGA article, but look at all the Nerds who felt compelled to come on here and throw mud. How classy. That mythical ACC championship seems to have given you all a pass to puff your chests out and show off those pocket protectors. Tooo bad this year will end like so many before in this decade… With a loss to UGA, and a loss in a bowl game. How sad…

LOL

Duke Blue

December 30th, 2009
8:33 am

GA wins NC in 2010

December 30th, 2009
8:25 am

If GA wins the first few games in 2010, just watch the articles & blogs start flowing in saying it’s the “fill-in Mascot” who is the reason for winning.

RUSS will not be the mascot in 2010. At least UGA has a real mascot not some stupid looking Bee

WonderDawg

December 30th, 2009
8:36 am

Thanks, Toe Meets Leather (7:26). Just as I was undergoing a self-examination regarding my somewhat mean treatment of Tech fans on these blogs, you write in and all of that guilt washes away. Since the Jan Kemp era, UGA has fewer classroom / football player issues than any program in the NCAA. And the NCAA sure has to keep tabs on you guys now huh. The only thing worse than nerds is nerds that break the rules!

Rocket Rod

December 30th, 2009
8:38 am

Did Tech order rings after their last game with Ga. Oops, they lost. Probably not.

WonderDawg

December 30th, 2009
8:43 am

Calm down, Marianela, your cellmate found her broom handle and ready for foreplay…

James

December 30th, 2009
8:46 am

Wow, look at all the jealous GT fans. It must suck to be you. Gt is UGA’s bitch and will all ways be our bitch.

How was my spelling Marianela?

Adrian Shadowmoss is a classic example of a GT tool.
This nerd believes Thornton wrote this article. He is critiquing the spelling of what a person SAID.

James

December 30th, 2009
8:52 am

Since GT can no longer brag about a 3 pt win they are trying to point out how delusional UGA fans are? Could one of you GT punks show me one UGA fan stating we will win the BCS next year?

David

December 30th, 2009
9:03 am

I’m not a tech fan..I’m not a UGA fan…but UGA just needs to shhhhh for this season…you all did do anything special..if you think beating tech on a saturday makes it where you are better them..you’re little mistaken…if you all observe in the SEC..lowly teams have beaten giants many times…and i think this is the case..UGA beat a giant..tech is good..you have to see that..now dont “Puff” out your chests now since you beat a horrible pac 10 team…yeah great offensively…piss poor defensively..worse than UGA i believe…so lets get back on the topic at hand with this KID…

Denver Dog

December 30th, 2009
9:08 am

I wish this kid well wherever he goes! I think if this guy is good, he would go in and play at any school. If you have a school losing 3 DL starters to the NFL, you may have a better chance there. By the way Techies, they stopped the #5 offense in the country, not the #9 in the Big 12. So Garner and company did a good job on that. They did a lot better job once the offense could move the ball. Again, you have to wish all these kids well, some will go your way, and some ours.

Huh?

December 30th, 2009
9:10 am

David – Pac 10 team? You sound like you don’t even know what you’re talking about.

GreggJ

December 30th, 2009
9:11 am

maybe UGA will get him with early playing time

Rowdy Cowboy

December 30th, 2009
9:16 am

As an alum of both Auburn and UGA, I hope that Mike Thornton attends Auburn. Auburn is one of the feel-good stories of 2009 and it will only get better. Truly exciting times are ahead for the Auburn Tigers. Mr. Thonrton come on down and join the Auburn Family. You will not be disappointed!

1eyedJack

December 30th, 2009
9:18 am

When the obnoxious GT fans are embarrassed in their own stadium, with two weeks to prepare, with the greatest coach to ever walk the sidelines, had their midget linemen pushed all over the field, had a mudhole stomped in the middle of their field by a RS Soph and a true freshman, caught their opponent without their best player(AJ), got knocked out of the NC discussion, had their ACC Championship become totally irrelevant……….they simply change their post names and reboot…. So they can hide behind their anonymity and throw sucker punches.

Carter Strickland

December 30th, 2009
9:19 am

Wow David, you write as well as Chip.

RFP

December 30th, 2009
9:29 am

Well said 1eyedJack. Let’s not forget that J Dwyer, the best running back in the world according to GT fans, was held to 33 yards by Willie Martinez’s “soft” defense.

Pass Tech Pass

Toe Meets Leather

December 30th, 2009
9:33 am

I thought UGA cleaned up their “remedial” act after Saint Jan Kemp exposed them.

Think again. The great shame of the entire University System of Georgia is that thousands of students are admitted without possessing even the rudiments of writing, reading, and mathematical skills. Of course the system dealt with the “remedial” problem. It a fix involving the replacement of remedial by developmental. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, the late Jan Kemp.

Such “developmental” courses are required of more students than merely football players. And yet, you’ll hear thousands of current and former UGA students boast about how academically sound their institution is. Can you imagine an Emory University or a Duke University offering a developmental English course? But then, Emory doesn’t have a football program, so it doesn’t count.

BIG BEE

December 30th, 2009
9:39 am

1eyedjack, who you calling obnoxious boy? read your own post!!

1eyedJack

December 30th, 2009
9:52 am

If the yellow striped suit fits…wear it.

Cameron

December 30th, 2009
9:52 am

Mike Thornton has long since been an Auburn lean. He was supposed to enroll early at the school he chooses, but decided not to because he wasn’t sure what school he wanted to go to yet. The only thing keeping UGA in it is Rodney Garner. CRG and Thornton’s coach played at Auburn together and have a real good relationship. Thornton has known him for years and has a very good relationship with CRG.

If UGA doesn’t keep CRG, say goodbye to Thornton. The “rumor” is that Auburn still holds the lead. And by “rumor,” I mean the guys who know, Scout.com.

Gt4ever

December 30th, 2009
9:58 am

One can only hope that Gardner is named the DC at UGA…. Jeez, that would be a gift for all the Yellow Jackets….

Douglas

December 30th, 2009
9:58 am

If Garner was such a talent at DC, don’t you think he would have been hired by now?

FRED

December 30th, 2009
9:59 am

FIRST, IF GARNER BECOMES OUR DC WE ALL WILL BE TAPING THE GAMES SO WE CAN SPEED THROUGH FOR LESS PAIN. SECOND, ALL YOU GT FANS IF I CAN SEE ALL THE SHORT COMMINGS IN THE UGA PROGRAM SURLEY YOU CAN SEE THAT THE ACC IS A JOKE WHEN COMPAIRED TO THE SEC. SO TAKE THIS RECOMENDATION FROM YOUR 71 YEAR OLD GRANDFATHER GROW UP AND TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THE ACC.

1eyedJack

December 30th, 2009
10:07 am

As many teams that have tried to lure Coach Garner away…it was never as a DC.

The Ole Ball Coach

December 30th, 2009
10:12 am

For a chance to play early and go to the NFL go to Georgia…Its that simple.

30-24

December 30th, 2009
10:16 am

Toe Meets Leather –

Why do you Tech fans always resort to talking about academics on a football blog? Such a nerd……

Recreation is declared major at Tech

December 30th, 2009
10:17 am

90% of tech’s basketball and football players are “Rec” majors. That means that they learn what a pressure treated (Osmose with the yellow tag or you don’t want it) 6″ x 6″ post is, what an auger is and what galvanized zinc dipped and spiraled nails are. Believe it gang. Family member is a Tech team MD and he says they are dumber than rocks.

Why are we not talking about the whuppin mighty Miami U took at the hands of the Badgers, who UGA has stomped about twice in last 9 or 11 years, hmmmmmmmmm???

ACC is gonna take ANOTHER bowl beat down this season. Orange is gonna be ugly.

30-24 and 1-8 and 4-15 Whhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooosh go Caleb and Washaun.

Dwyer? 33 yds? Nesbitt?? 44 yds.

Smack em in their faces screams the Fat Man ( with resume in hand.)

gooooooooooooooo Dogs.

yes, Osmose with the yellow tag says it all about tech

DAWG fan in Tampa

December 30th, 2009
10:25 am

I-4 is a pain, you will have lots of fun driving from Tampa to Orlando. Hope Mike goes to UGA he probably would get immediate playing time. Where are the rumors coming from that Garner will be promoted to DC?

1eyedJack

December 30th, 2009
10:25 am

Reggie Ball and Joe Hamilton – Rhoades Scholars.

Former UGA fan

December 30th, 2009
10:33 am

I have followed sports in Georgia for over 40 years and College football for just as long.I have never seen such a homer, brainwashed attacking group as current UGA fans. Every board where UGA fans participate turns into a circle jerk.

Whats wrong with you folks? I now find it hard to be a UGA fans because of you. Richt has had a few good moments in the sun, but as a hole UGA football has done little since 26 years… So why the pain in the a$$ attitude?

I find most current UGA fans to be attacking homers, Fox news watching, racially intolerent, religously intolerent annoying pricks.

Not all.

Reggie Ball

December 30th, 2009
10:52 am

GT 13 Iowa 42