Though he's rated just a three-star prospect by Scout.com, Michael Thornton has an offer list that's as impressive as just about anyone else in the South.
The 6-1, 273-pound defensive tackle from Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson has received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee and lots of others, so narrowing things down has been quite a chore.
It has also been difficult, by Thornton's own admission, to keep in regular contact with all of the schools recruiting him. That alone would occupy most of his time, so he's relying on visits to help him in his decision-making process.
Thornton recently took trips to Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech, and each school had the chance to roll out the red carpet. How did those trips go?
"Everything went good," he told Pack Pride. "I had a good time at all three (schools). I wouldn't say one was better. I just didn't get to spend that much time at Tech. Alabama really impressed me. Same with Georgia. Both coaching staffs and the campuses impressed me. I had never been out to Alabama yet, and Georgia's facilities impressed me."
Thornton said he would try to set up a couple more visits before the summer is up and he resumes his high school career at Stephenson.
"Everything's still wide open right now," Thornton explained. "I'm trying to narrow it down to eight or so, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. I've just got to do my evaluation of everybody and see what it looks like."
The talented interior lineman went on to say there is a good chance NC State will make the cut whenever he trims his list.
"I haven't talked to coach Bridge in about three weeks so I need to call him. He came to my school before I got out. We've talked and I feel like he's the right dude to recruit me. We've got a pretty good relationship. I need to call him more often. He e-mails me every now and then.
"I feel good with NC State. I've heard they've got good facilities and a great coaching staff. I just need to get up there and see for myself."
Thornton would like to take at least a couple of official visits before he makes his decision later this year or early in 2010.
Thornton recorded better than 90 tackles and four sacks as a junior. He is currently ranked the No. 24 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.