Thornton with Two Offers

New defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward and the South Carolina Gamecocks were the first program to offer Stephenson HS (Stone Mountain, GA) defensive tackle Michael Thornton. Since then, Thornton has picked up another big time offer and is receiving heavy interest from another SEC program. Read inside to see where the Gamecocks stand with the 6-1, 285 pound prospect.

6-1, 285 pound Stephenson HS (Stone Mountain, GA) DT Michael Thornton says he is simply enjoying the recruiting process right now.

The talented lineman received an offer in the mail from South Carolina in February.

"Man everything, it was everything I've been working for," Thornton said of his first offer. "I've been waiting for an offer. South Carolina is a good program; I really like that school. I like the coaches and everything."

Thornton recently went to Columbia to see South Carolina for the first time seeking to learn more about the program.

"I went up there about a weekend ago to the junior day," Thornton said. "It was nice. I met with a lot of coaches and talked to them for a little while." One coach he was able to spend time with is new defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, known for the excellent secondaries he developed at Virginia Tech. Ward is Thornton's recruiter of record for South Carolina.

"He's a great dude to talk to," Thornton said. "I really like Coach Ward. He's good people. I talk to him about once every week."

The talented tackle was also impressed with South Carolina's academics and head coach Steve Spurrier.

"They've got a good business program, that's what I want to major in when I go to college," he said. "The coaches were real down to earth. I like Coach Spurrier; he's a funny dude. And my position coach is a cool dude."

Since receiving the South Carolina offer Thornton has picked up a tender from Miami. He believes Auburn may be next in line. Thornton is also receiving interest from Florida, Vanderbilt and Louisiana Tech.

"Miami has always been a great program," he said. "I talked to Coach [Wesley] McGriff, he's the one recruiting me, and he really, really likes me. He talked to Coach [Randy] Shannon, and they both really like me. I'm going to go down there and see what it's like and just take a couple of more visits."

One of those visits will be to Auburn in the next couple of weekends. If the Tigers offer could they make a run at the tackle prospect?

"I'm from Columbus, GA so that's right across the river from Auburn," he said. "That's always been one of the top schools me and my family like. They're a great program. I know they've got a new coaching stuff, but I've talked to Coach [Tracy] Rocker and Coach [Tommy] Thigpen; they're real great guys. I know of Coach Rocker from when he played for Auburn."

Thornton described what it is about his game that he believes has him garnering so much interest.

"I'm a good run-stopper and a good pass-rusher," he says. "I can play any kind of defense. I can hold my position down good and read an offense and all my cues."

In addition to his Miami and Auburn visits, he also plans a return trip to South Carolina for the Gamecocks' Garnet and Black spring game.

But don't expect a decision from Thornton any time soon. The Stephenson HS product claims no leaders at this time.

"I don't really know right now", Thornton said of his timetable. "I'm just going to hold out, see what I can get, and take a couple of more visits."

While he doesn't know when he will commit, the rising senior does know what he is looking for.

"I'm looking for a school that can offer me what I need to get from an education standpoint. And just a great environment."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories