Athletic Defensive Tackle Talks Recruiting

One of the top defensive tackles in the South talks recruiting and gives his thoughts on the Auburn Tigers.

Stone Mountain, Ga.--Defensive tackle is always one of the marquee positions in football recruiting and one of the players getting plenty of attention this spring is big Michael Thornton from Stephenson High School.

At 6-2, 275 pounds, Thornton plays both defensive tackle and offensive tackle for his high school team, but his future will be on defense on the next level because of his blend of quickness and strength. Teams are already lining up to get a look at him and Thornton says the colleges recruiting him are numerous at the moment.

"Right now I'm hearing from a lot of schools," Thornton tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "They are West Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, North Carolina and Auburn."

A player who has rocketed up many recruiting boards, Thornton says his offer list has continued to grow throughout the spring and is now over a dozen. With plenty of choices he notes that he hasn't started to narrow his list just yet.

"I have offers from West Virginia, Auburn, South Carolina, Duke, Ole Miss, Miami, East Carolina, North Carolina State, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Arkansas, Tennessee, Michigan State and Penn State."

A visitor to Auburn for the A-Day game last month, Thornton says the Tigers are one of the teams he's strongly considering. One of the reasons why Auburn is in the mix, according to the senior-to-be, is because of coach Tracy Rocker being back on the Plains as the defensive line coach.

"I just like the vibe down there," Thornton says. "I feel like they've got a great coaching staff. There is a good bond between the players and coaches. They know when to be serious and when to play around. I like that.

"Having Coach Rocker there means everything," he adds. "I saw some of his highlights and how him and his brother (David Rocker) impacted Auburn when they played. I feel like that's learning from the best of the best right there."

Thornton and his teammates are finishing spring practice this week with an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday night. Expected to once again be a team to watch in Georgia, Thornton says he feels like he's going to be a big impact player for his team in 2009.

"I feel like I'm stronger and quicker off the ball this year than I was as a junior," Thornton says. "I have a better feel for the game right now."

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