Rebs add blue chip '08 prospect

Kyle Thornton (RHP, Tupelo, MS) - The Rebels have landed their third '08 prospect and the top two pitching prospects in the state of Mississippi.

"I took two visits to Ole Miss, and both times I was amazed at the baseball aspect of it," added Kyle Thornton. "The program they have going on. It is steadily improving. The coaches love the game, and know the game, and they teach it well. And the campus; they just have the complete package. There is no doubt that is where I want to be."

Who were the main colleges involved in Kyle's recruitment?

"The main three were Ole Miss, MSU, and LSU. They were pursuing me the heaviest."

Who else was involved?

"There were a lot of them, around 30 or so schools. The SEC schools were Ole Miss, MSU, LSU, and Kentucky.. Some of the out of conference colleges that were on me were Texas, USM, and MTSU. There were just a bunch of them."

Kyle grew up with a divided family, but that really did not play a factor in his decision.

"My family was divided. I went to a lot of MSU games growing up, and I went to some Ole Miss games too. I pulled for all of the Mississippi teams. But I was more of a MSU fan until I grew older and some of my family started going to Ole Miss. That is when I grew to love Ole Miss."

Kyle's stock blew up this summer when he was rated the top prospect at the National showcase tournament by Pro Day Baseball in Orange Beach (AL)..

"I just kind of blossomed in a hurry. When our team won the World Series, and I was selected to the All-Tournament team, everything just kind of took off. It got really crazy when I was ranked the #1 player during the national Pro Day Baseball showcase tournament. Teams started coming after me from everywhere. But I tried to keep it all in perspective."

Thornton's fastball is what separates him from everybody else

"Right now, my most effective pitch is my fastball, but my change up is just as good. I use both of them hand in hand. I am just a junior in high school, and I average in the 91-92 MPH range and top out in the mid 90's. That is pretty rare for a guy my age."

But there are some other aspects to Kyle's game that makes the 6' 4", 215 pound right handed pitcher so effective.

"I hit my spots well. I work them high and low. But the big thing about pitching is the mental aspect of it. You have to be mentally prepared and completely focused. That is where I excel the most, the mental part of the game."

Kyle is currently 10-0 with a .76 ERA and looks to add a few more wins to the column before the season is over.

"We are just entering the 2nd round of the playoffs. We are 31-2 on the season. We play Clinton this weekend. We should be able to handle them and move on to the North Half."

Thornton carries a 3.85 GPA / 18 ACT.

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