High On The Razorbacks

The University of Arkansas could land a trio of Hargarve standouts according to defensive tackle Kyrhi Thornton (6-3, 300), who is currently on his official to Fayetteville and has been hearing good things about the Razorbacks from two teammates - UA offensive line commit Anthony Oden (6-8, 295) and defensive end Leon Mackey (6-5, 260).

It's no secret that the University of Arkansas wants to finish out its 2009 recruiting class with some big-time defensive standouts.

Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Academy defensive tackle Kyrhi Thornton (6-3, 300) certainly fits the profile.

Thornton, a former Florida State signee and former Sunshine State prep standout, and cornerback Andru Stewart (5-11, 190) of the Visalia (CA) College of the Sequoias are both taking official visits to Arkansas this weekend.

"This is a great place with a great football program," said Thornton, who will leave out Saturday. "I couldn't be more impressed."

He had heard as much from two Hargrave teammates – Razorback offensive line commit Anthony Oden (6-8, 295) and defensive end Leon Mackey (6-5, 260), a mid-term graduate who could be headed to Fayetteville as well.

"O got me real interested in Arkansas," Thornton said. "He has told me about the quarterback that transferred from Michigan (Ryan Mallett) and how he is going to take us to the top. The dude is like 6-8 or 6-7 and he's going to the NFL one day. I know it will be hard for the defensive ends and defensive tackle to get him down."

Mackey has visited Arkansas, North Carolina State and Clemson and was scheduled to go to Virginia Tech this weekend – a trip that his teammate told him he was not going to take.

"Mackey told me his visit to Arkansas was a 12 and I see what he is talking about now," Thornton said. "This a great place and they are real with you. They are great recruiters."

Arkansas defensive line coach Bobby Allen is leading the charge for Thornton.

"I really like Coach Allen," Thornton said. "He is the only coach that hasn't sugarcoated everything for me. He has told me that I have to earn my spot."

Thornton had 56 tackles as a senior for Panama City (Fla.) Bay High with two sacks and 7 tackles for lost yardage before signing with Florida State and then matriculating to Hargrave.

"I feel like I am a good player," Thornton said. "I hustle to the ball and I make a lot of plays. My weakness that I a working on is that I have to come off the ball harder."

There were published reports last week that Mackey had committed to Clemson and that Thornton had committed to South Florida.

Thornton said neither one of those reports were accurate and had to be just a misunderstanding.

"Leon liked Clemson, but not as much as he does this place," Thornton said. "I didn't commit to South Florida. I don't know how they got my words mixed up. I know that I didn't commit to them. I was going to call back and straighten it out, but my coach said ‘don't call back, they just got your words twisted around'. Just got ahead and take your visit to Arkansas and then deal with it."

That is part of the reason that Thornton want make any immediate commitment to Arkansas this weekend.

"I am not going to make a decision while I am here, but I am not going to open my recruiting up," Thornton said. "O and Mackey kind of have me stuck on Arkansas now. I really, really like this place and these coaches."

Thornton also said he is impressed with how much the Arkansas program is focused on his education.

"The academic advisers have also basically given me a plan on how I am going to go about getting my degree," Thornton said. "They have a scheduled written down for what you do from every day of the first semester you are here as far as football and class. Most schools I have visited really haven't taken time to explain that to me."

Thornton had hoped to be a mid-term graduate, but will have to stay at Hargrave a little longer.

"I will have to be there one more semester because the (NCAA) Clearing House added one of my courses and now I have to get a higher score. So I have to stay the spring semester."





Kyrhi Thornton





Andru Stewart


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