Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, Ga) standout Nigel Mitchell-Thornton has seen his recruiting stock take off over the last several weeks. The talented 6-2, 210-pound linebacker has accumulated scholarship offers from the likes of NC State, Stanford, Marshall, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Duke, Mississippi State, Wake Forest, Central Florida and Miami (Ohio). He’s also entertaining serious interest from schools like Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Alabama among others.
That flood of interest comes after a stellar junior season. On the year, Mitchell-Thornton collected 102 tackles, six sacks and 12 tackles for loss en route to all-state and all-region honors while splitting time between linebacker and defensive end.
At 6-2, 220 pounds, Mitchell-Thornton has prototypical size for linebacker and as NC State continues to build it’s depth at that position, he has become a major target for the Wolfpack coaching staff. Mitchell-Thornton recently visited for NC State’s junior day and the trip far exceeded anything the Georgia ‘backer expected.
“That was my first time going to NC State and it was great,” said Mitchell-Thornton. “I got to see the facilities and tour the campus and it was really nice. I was actually wanting to see more of it but the coaches told me they wanted to save something for me to see the next time I come up for a visit.”
NC State tight end’s coach Jim Bridge has become one of the Pack’s top recruiters and he’s heading up State’s effort to land Mitchell-Thornton. It would appear he’s made a solid early impression on the three-star prospect.
“Coach Bridge is the guy recruiting me and he’s been great,” said Mitchell-Thornton. “I have to say I didn’t know a lot about NC State before that visit. I was getting some letters from them so I was asking my friends if they knew anything about NC State. Being in Georgia we mainly hear about Georgia Tech or Georgia and with being in North Carolina, you usually think about basketball up there. But the coaches at State told me that everyone knows they’re all about football up there and I really liked that. I had mid-interest in them before but I would say it’s high now.”
While State has established itself as a major player, landing Mitchell-Thornton will not be an easy task. In addition to his visit to Raleigh, Mitchell-Thornton has also visited Mississippi State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Alabama. He maintains that he’s open currently and still hoping to land a few more offers before he narrows his list.
“I don’t really have any favorites right now,” he said. “I’m considering all of the schools equal and I would like to camp at a few places to earn some more offers- schools like Auburn and Clemson and Florida has been talking to me as well.”
Scout.com currently rates Mitchell-Thornton as the No. 12 weak-side LB in the nation.