Ten at 10: Marcus Thornton to check out Alabama, Texas

THE TEN AT 10:

1. The first stop on the “Marcus Thornton Whirlwind Recruiting Tour” will be in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama today. The Atlanta-Westlake star and reigning Mr. Georgia Basketball will visit with coach Anthony Grant before heading to Austin, Texas, this weekend to get a close-up look at the Texas Longhorns, according to TideSports.com. Citing Westlake coach Darron Rogers, the reports says Thornton also plans trips to Kentucky and Michigan but is still debating whether to visit Georgia and/or Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-7 power forward is also still considering Clemson. Thornton signed with the Tigers last fall but was released from his letter-of-intent after coach Oliver Purnell left for DePaul this year.

2. Speaking of LOIs,  there’s a really interesting story in The Sporting News about how the national letter-of-intent, or LOI, is starting to get some resistance from top basketball recruits. Elite players are starting to see it for what it is, a binding one-way contract that favors the schools. In fact, Brandon Knight, one of the top basketball prospects in the country, refused to sign an LOI with Kentucky and opted instead to sign something called a “financial aid offer.”  Knight’s  mother told the Lexington Ledger-Enquirer it was “just as a precautionary measure” should coach John Calipari decide to leave for another job.

3. Pope all-state offensive lineman Thomas O’Reilly has accepted his invitation to play in the Under Armour All-America Game. O’Reilly was also a nominee for the U.S. Army Game but picked the Orlando-St. Petersburg event mainly because two of his future Auburn linemates — Reese Dismukes of Spanish Fort, Ala., and Spencer Region of Cullman, Ala. — have also agreed to participate.

4. Here is somewhat of a local take on Christian LeMay’s impending announcement Friday from Langston Wertz Jr. of the Charlotte Observer. LeMay, the No. 2 quarterback in America according to Scout.com, will annouce his college choice from a final five of Georgia, Clemson, Auburn, Texas A&M and Notre Dame on Friday in Pineville, N.C. I’ll be there to chronicle.

5. Speaking of local takes on North Carolina quarterbacks, Georgia Tech’s latest commitment, Airyn Willis of High Point, N.C., is profiled here in the Greensboro News-Record.

6. In case you missed it yesterday, Brookwood athlete Andre Sims has committed to Michigan State. Sims (5-9, 170) made his mark as a wide receiver last season (school record 915 yards on 56 catches and 9 TDs) but he is expected to play in the defensive backfield for the Spartans. Sims does not currently have any other major college offers but was invited to camps at LSU and Virginia Tech.

7. Here’s a good breakdown of Georgia high school graduates in the recent NFL draft from our colleague Todd Holcomb for MaxPreps.com. I didn’t realize the three first rounders — Eric Berry (Fairburn-Creekside), Demaryius Thomas (Dublin-West Laurens) and Kareem Jackson (Macon-Westside)  — were the second-most of all time. Georgia had four first-rounders in 2007. There all kinds of juicy tidbits there.

8. There’s a good piece this morning from Tony Barnhart, a.k.a “Mr. College Football,” on coach Bill Curry and why at his age he would want to take on the enormous challenge that is starting a football program at Georgia State.

9. Trip Thurman, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman from Dover, Del., found himself in an embarrassing situation at Tennessee’s Orange and White spring game the other weekend. He was turned away at the prospects’ gate after being told his name wasn’t on the list. “Coach [Harry] Hiestand said it was just a mix-up, that it didn’t get relayed to him or any of the other coaches,” Thurman told GoVolsXtra.com. “Coach Hiestand said they’re really behind on this year’s class because of how late they had to recruit for the 2010 class. He said they’re very interested in me and they want to get to know me more. He just apologized that he didn’t get a chance to see me and I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the coaches.” Thurman, who has offers from Florida, Clemson, South Carolina and West Virginia, among others, said he accepted the apology and is still considering the Vols.

10. Interesting to note in hindsight that Florida, which had a national-best nine players selected in the NFL draft, could have had at least two more taken in the first round if not for character issues. Tight end Aaron Hernandez earned first-round ratings but dropped to fourth after admitting to using marijuana and failing at least one drug test while playing for the Gators, according to a story in the Gainesville Sun. And defensive end Carlos Dunlap almost certainly would have been a first-rounder if not for his DUI arrest the week of the SEC Championship Game.  As it was, the Dunlap went in the second round to Cincinnati with the 54th pick.

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79 comments Add your comment

Worm

April 29th, 2010
11:31 am

Expect the NCAA to close that “financial aid” loophole that Knight did..Maybe I’ll see you at LeMays announcement tomorrow Chip..Good info as always.

Dawgs 97

April 29th, 2010
11:32 am

Tennessee’s field bouncers need to do a better job! I am guessing if the dude was 6-6 and 300 LBS, the odds were fairly good Vols that he was a major recruit, morons.

Douglas

April 29th, 2010
11:34 am

Why is Thorton not considering visiting UGA or GT?

Chip Towers

April 29th, 2010
11:42 am

Douglas: He is considering it.

zulucanibal

April 29th, 2010
11:43 am

Tomarrow is a HUGE day for UGA football….

dawgster

April 29th, 2010
11:50 am

see folks other football programs have issues with players also..see item #10 above regarding the gators…point here is we seem to bash the dawgs and yes there is some merit to that, but all the programs have alot of the same issues or worse not just the dawgs, but that seems to get very little attention locally…

Rheumatism

April 29th, 2010
11:51 am

Do we know if Christian is leaning in any one direction?

dawgs01

April 29th, 2010
11:54 am

I dont know how i feel about Lemay telling us who is number one will be bc he already said it is not certain. Why have an announcement if it might change. Does not make much since to me. It makes me wonder if he is a team player bc it seems like he is just drawing attention to himself. I hate that recruiting has turn into a circus no wonder why some of these supposedly great recruits under perform in college they lose their drive. They think they are all americans before they even play a down bc we make such a big deal about it. Just think about recruiting a Champ Bailey or Herschel Walker now a days.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 29th, 2010
11:55 am

Chip what did I say that got me deleted? Hewitt is not going to be at TECH in 4 yrs. but I don’t think Thorton is planning or graduating form any college anyway. Fox still has a lot to prove at UGA. UGA(Like TECH) has never benn much of a powerhouse in their respective leagues.

zulucanibal

April 29th, 2010
11:58 am

Good point dawgs01….Herschel Walker being recruited in todays 24-7 news cycle? would have been nuts!!!!

Seenthisb4

April 29th, 2010
11:59 am

zulucanibal…..Are opening the jail cells and letting the dawgs out?

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 29th, 2010
11:59 am

Chip waht did I say that was wrong about the Loophole as it was called? It is not a loophole it is an option for student to use to findout which colleges they can get in and maybe afford easier. How can the NCAA tell an Athelet he/she can’t use an option available to every other student?

78 DAWG

April 29th, 2010
12:02 pm

When LeMay commits that’ll be 8 straight years with the DAWGS having a 1st team all america qb! Jacksonville and the SEC championship are ours again!

Seenthisb4

April 29th, 2010
12:06 pm

78 DAWG…you are on drugs!

Seenthisb4 Really???

April 29th, 2010
12:34 pm

Please keep it realitive to the article. This is not a basher blog anymore. Chip you need to watch out for this guy. He is one of those guys that all he does is base and call names.

KD

April 29th, 2010
12:45 pm

Hernandez failed a drug test, don’t remember him ever missing any games !!

McDawg

April 29th, 2010
12:48 pm

Would not rule ND out of the LeMay race but gotta think he is coming to Athens

McDawg

April 29th, 2010
12:49 pm

Auburn Texas A&M & ND are all running the spread

chiefdawg

April 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

yes Dawgster other programs do have issues with players. as you referenced UF. But guess what they win National championships, so they get the benefit of the doubt. If UGA was winning like UF, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal.

DirtyDog

April 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

Dawgs 97: Worry about your own mediocre program.

Joe Cox

April 29th, 2010
1:07 pm

I say this young man is a team player and that’s why he is announcing early. He wants to make it known so that he can be a recruiter for the school he chooses. Pretty smart if you ax me. Best of luck to the young man. I hope he chooses my alma mater.

JimDog

April 29th, 2010
1:20 pm

Come on Christian, the Bulldogs are waitin’ for ya’! In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got some vacant roster spots at QB these days.

Ron Mexico

April 29th, 2010
1:21 pm

Little mix up there Chip. You listed Clemson twice in the 9th post FYI.

So tomorrow we get the announcement from LeMay that he is joining the Bulldog nation too, thats great to hear!

Matthews Dawg

April 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

dawgs01….you have NO IDEA the type of kid Christian LeMay is or is not. I do! He goes to Butler HS in Matthews, NC. Hence my name on blogs. This is as fine a young man you could want to meet. You need to read the article carefully to understand what is going on with his announcement. This is a family of honor, integrity and eithics. He will tell who his leader is and then start recruiting for that team. This is NOT a grandstand play or a way for him to draw attention to himself. I promise you and all out there, this is a young man we want on our team as a QB and more important as someone we would want to represent UGA! He is an extremely high quality young man! I hope that is a good enough endorsement for him. I hope he chooses UGA. He is also very gifted on the field, look at his numbers. Go Dawgs!!

Chiefdawg Really???

April 29th, 2010
1:24 pm

So Chiefdawg, if you win National Championships, you are allowed to break the rules. Really??? So we can tell everybody, break all the rules just make sure you win. RRRRIIIIGGGHHHTTT. The difference is how the media reports it and how much of the haters come on here and constantly talk about it and make it out to be the worst thing ever.

Ron Mexico

April 29th, 2010
1:28 pm

And to KD, I don’t remember it either, guess since the media didn’t get a hold of that info until after he left UF, ole Urban didn’t feel he needed to punish the guy.

RxDawg

April 29th, 2010
1:41 pm

“Elite players are starting to see it for what it is, a binding one-way contract that favors the schools”

Well…I guess so. But isn’t it the school that is providing everything for these young men to advance in life? They are providing the education(well, for those that actually stick around for that part). They are providing the training, the facilities, the best competetion to play against next to proffesional league. The schools want to be able to count on these players, at least for the next year. I can see how players would want the freedom to leave due to certain circumstances (the head coach changing, etc..). Isn’t that available as it is? If letters of intent aren’t really any intent at all I can see how that system could be abused.

Now that a Policy for Hemp U

April 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

According to the policy, a first positive test results in additional testing and drug counseling.

A second positive test would result in a suspension for 10 percent (one game) of the season and mandatory counseling. A third would cost an athlete 20 percent of the season.

Testing positive for a fourth time would result in a suspension for 50 percent of the season.

A fifth positive test would mean an immediate one-year suspension, with the chance to seek reinstatement at the end of the suspension.

You can get poped five times and still be on the team at the end of the suspension. All I can say is wow!!!! Talk about lax rules for the top one percent of one percent. No wonder these kids are lining up to go to Hemp U.

Chip Towers

April 29th, 2010
2:09 pm

RxDawg: You’re right, and I didn’t mean it to sound like it was a raw deal. I’d say it’s more one-sided for the elite of the elite. Believe me, I think a college education even if guaranteed for only a year would be sufficient for most of us. And it is the colleges providing the free education, so I understand their need to protect their investment. It’s a two-way street.

Michael

April 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

Matthews Dawg……article Charlotte paper says his church is on Nations Ford Rd but Butler High is in Matthews ? all way across town….was he recruited to HS too ?

Michael???

April 29th, 2010
2:36 pm

Sometimes people work across town? Gonna have to do better than that.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

April 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

Sure hope LeMay is going to the DAWGS….. I’m sure that only ONE top QB will sign with UGA as no one wants to sit on the bench, My choice, QB from Wilcox county, will be watching and if LeMay commits to UGA he will probably be leaning towards FSU and that is to bad. We shouldn’t let such great Georgia talent go out of state.

dawgs01

April 29th, 2010
3:06 pm

I hope the Dawgs get him Matthews. I was just questioning the point of the announcement he can recruit those guys without making an announcement. I know he said in an interview he talks to other recruits on the phone all the time. He also said in an interview that this announcement guarantees nothing. It is just so we can see where he stands. Your right i do not know what kind of kid he is, but all I am saying is that kids in general are getting to much hype these days coming out of high school. It sucks judging him by looking at the actions of others but welcome to collegiate sports. From everything i have read he is a fine young man and i wish him the best i was not trying to put him down i was questioning the motive behind the announcement that has know value to it. Its like a guy saying i am going to marry one of these five women right now Julia is in the lead but it could change over the next five months so pay me no attention.

dawgs01

April 29th, 2010
3:09 pm

no value not know value and earlier i meant sense not since been a long day

BG

April 29th, 2010
3:17 pm

UF players smoking dope and getting DUI’s. What’s new???

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

April 29th, 2010
3:25 pm

This decision is HUGE for all of these guys. Don’t hate on them if they don’t choose the team you pull for. Try thinking back to when you were 17, if it were you, you would want all the time and visits you could get. And yeah, Ga needs a good up and comer at QB. Keeping my fingers crossed

James T. Kirk

April 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

Poor puppies. Still trying to catch up to their big brothers in Atlanta

The General Feeling

April 29th, 2010
3:37 pm

“Elite players are starting to see it for what it is, a binding one-way contract that favors the schools”

College basketball needs to go the MLB route and either sign them straight out of high school or require they stay in college and become academic Juniors before they are eligible for the draft.

James T. Kirk Really???

April 29th, 2010
3:38 pm

Really??? I mean RRREEEAALLLYYY??? Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

Joe Cox

April 29th, 2010
3:38 pm

Trying to catch who? The Falcons? Because I know you’re not talking about the bumble bees.

Saint Simons

April 29th, 2010
3:41 pm

Saint Simons Really???

April 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

James T. Kirk

April 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

We have lapped you mutts with warp speed. We are in an entirely different galaxy from you puppies now. Richt is the past, Johnson is the future. A future that will earn multiple national championships.

Stinger

April 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

If we wanted Lemay, we’d take him. Nuff said.

James T. Kirk Really???

April 29th, 2010
3:45 pm

LOL!!!!!Instead of the blue collar comedy tour, you and Saint Simorons needs to start your own tour. you have great material.

Stinger Really???

April 29th, 2010
3:46 pm

You can join the all star line up with James T. and Saint Simons, who’s next. Man my side is starting to hurt.

James T. Kirk

April 29th, 2010
3:47 pm

Material? I guess facts would be considered “material.”

Jamie T. Kirk Really???

April 29th, 2010
3:49 pm

Just because you call them facts, doesn’t mean they are. Man, this is making my afternoon. Big Smiles!!

LOOKING TO 2010...

April 29th, 2010
3:50 pm

Marcus Thornton is not coming to Athens as much as I hate to admit it. Another Georgia star leaves the state. Mark Fox will improve on that statistic for sure.

Stinger

April 29th, 2010
3:50 pm

Lemay will not go to UGA