Mitchell-Thornton Currently Favors Three

Nigel Mitchell-Thornton has been making his rounds lately for football camps in the southeast. He's recently been to Alabama, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee and this past weekend he was in Atlanta to check out what Georgia Tech had to offer.

Nigel Mitchell-Thornton is the player with the long last name. Many people have called him Mitchell or Thornton but he says the full name is the proper way to say it. Not only does he have a long name but also a long list of college football programs pursuing him. He's been making the camp circuit lately to see what many of the popular southern schools have to offer him.

"In the last couple of weeks I've just been visiting a lot of different camps," said Mitchell-Thornton. "I've been at Alabama, South Carolina, Clemson and Georgia Tech, and I was just at Tennessee."

Nigel's purposes for visiting all of these camps hasn't been to get noticed and get offers – he's pretty well set in that department. Rather he's been working on building relationships with coaches and seeing how they envision utilizing him in their particular defenses.

"I just stay for like one session so the coaches could get a good look at me and just so I can see about the chemistry between me and the coaches," said Mitchell-Thornton. "So, that's what I'm doing here so I can see how Coach BJ (Tech LB Coach Brian Jean-Mary) is and see how both of us will be able to work together."

There are a few coaches Nigel specifically noted as guys he's started to build close relationships with. "Me and Coach BJ we've been talking for a while now – since January when they offered me," said Mitchell-Thornton. "And I talk to Coach (Lance) Thompson at Alabama and Coach (John) Chavis over at Tennessee, so I spread it around a little bit."

Expanding on the connection with Coach Jean-Mary Mitchell-Thornton said, "Coach BJ is real cool. He's like one of the guys. He's like a teammate-slash-coach. It's real great just to have him as a friend and as a recruiter."

Tech coaches have talked with Nigel about how they see him fitting into the recruiting class and where he'd likely play on the field if he were to choose them.

"They told me they're looking for like three or four linebackers this year," said Mitchell-Thornton. "Hopefully they were going to try to get me in as a Strong or Middle so today I just wanted to see how their Strong or Middle actually worked just to see how they cover and see how I would be able to fit insider that coverage."

Nigel doesn't prefer one specific LB position over another; it will just depend on how teams use their linebackers to determine which spot he'd prefer to play in.

"I see myself at some places at Strong and other Middle because at some places the Middle is more restricted to like one motion and other places the Strong actually goes after the quarterback," Mitchell-Thornton.

No leaders have been named by Nigel yet but three teams have moved to the front for now.

"Right now I have a certain interest… like Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Mississippi State," Mitchell-Thornton. "Those are like my high interests. I have other offers from other schools and I'm looking at them too, but I just have high interest [for those three]. Most of those schools aren't in a specific order; those are just some of the ones I'm looking at very closely right now. Those are the three I know are going to be in my top 5 or 6."

Campus environment is just one of the other factors Nigel will consider along with the relationship he builds with the coaches and how his position is utilized.

"Distance isn't a problem for me," said Mitchell-Thornton. "I do look at the campuses – like the living quarters for the football players and just how they're treated around the campus and just how the environment affects the team."

What is he looking for in a campus?

"Nothing in particular, just how the people are," said Mitchell-Thornton. "Something that fits me more so than what would fit somebody else. The atmosphere, how everybody's feeling, are some people in trouble or something like that. Or there's a feeling of animosity going around. I wouldn't want that."

Nigel says he can get a feel for situations like that by talking with students or current players on the teams.

"Up here at Georgia Tech, I actually know quite a few players, so I have a good viewpoint for how Georgia Tech is," said Mitchell-Thornton.

Nigel originally had planned on making his announcement closer to Signing Day but he now thinks that time frame will likely be moved up. He's recently had thoughts about enrolling somewhere early but is not sure he can arrange his classes to fit that schedule at this point.


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