Florida LB lists Pitt amongst favorites

University of Pittsburgh wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill has been diligently recruiting a number of quality prospects from the state of Florida. One of the top players he has been pursing happens to be a hard hitting linebacker from Miami, FL. Will "Pitt be it" for this blue-chip prospect? Read on.

"I have offers from Pittsburgh, Auburn, Ohio University, South Carolina, South Florida, Memphis and North Carolina State," stated linebacker Ronnie Thornton (6-foot-2 inches, 210 pounds) from Killian High School in Miami, FL.

Thornton registered 89 tackles and 5 sacks as a junior. He was Miami Killian High Schools starting middle linebacker for the last two seasons.

"I would say that Pittsburgh, North Carolina State and Auburn would be my top three schools. I'm very interested in the Panthers. Coach (Aubrey) Hill is the main guy recruiting me. He told me that Pittsburgh was going to lose three or four linebackers after this season. I want playing time and I think I could get some there."

When asked about his strengths, he stated, "I'm a very instinctive linebacker. I have the ability to read and react to what offenses are giving me. Once I know what an offense is doing, I can make the big play."

"Leadership is one of my main strengths as well. I like to think I lead on and off the football field."

Thornton is capable of running the forty-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. He can bench press 325 pounds and squat 405 pounds.

"I'm looking for two key factors in a school: tradition and depth chart. I want to go to a winning program that has a bit of tradition. Playing time is very important to me as well. I don't want to sit the bench. I feel like I could contribute early."

The Panthers are recruiting two of Thornton's teammates: athlete Chris Guthrie and free safety Alphonso Bruton.

"I hope I can visit Pittsburgh early in the season. I probably will take two or three visits before I make my final decision. The Panthers are one of my favorites, if not the favorite at this time."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.


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