PROFILE 2003: Skyler Thornton (RB)

Running Back Skyler Thornton of LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Ga., helped the Grangers win a state title last year. <br><br> He's a big reason why his team is favored to repeat.

Thornton helped lead LaGrange to a 13-0 record and the 3A state championship last year. With a multitude of talent returning, look for the Grangers to make another run this season.

"Skyler is a very strong running back," said head coach Steve Pardue. "He's got great hands. We're going to try and spread things out a bit more this season and see if we can get him the ball out of the backfield some too. He's played with us since he was a freshman. So far he has 2,725 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career."

Thornton, who is of no relation to fellow LaGrange alum and current Georgia Bulldog corner, is garnering interest from some of the top programs in the South.

"Right now, I'm most interested in Maryland, UGA, Auburn, Florida, East Carolina, LSU, and Penn State," said Thornton. "Maryland and East Carolina have offered me so far. I'm pretty wide open among all of them."

Thornton describes himself as a power back that likes the contact, and that's no surprise coming from a 200-pound back who lists a 320-pound bench press and a 500 squat. With a 4.46 time in the 40, Thornton has plenty of sped to break a game open as well. He displayed in with a 70-yard touchdown run in the state finals last season that iced the game.

A return to the state championship is a goal for the entire team, and Thornton as set some goals for himself.

"I'd like to get 2000 yards and 20 touchdowns this season," he said.

Thornton laughed at the mention that he'll may have to talk LaGrange QB Blake Mitchell, also a Division I prospect, into not throwing the ball so much.


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