After this season the Bulls lose d-linemen Richard Clebert, Allen Cray, Woody George, Julian Riley and possibly more. So replenishing the beef on the defensive lines is top priority for '08, and Panama Bay DT/FB Kyrhi Thornton who has been a top defensive target of the Bulls since this summer could be the answer.
This past season, Kyrhi has 678 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns and 2 catches for 37 yards and a score. On defense the big man had 49 tackles with an amazing 46 solo, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery. While on special teams he also had one blocked punt and a blocked field goal.
"I play tackle mostly, but play on the outside also, they move me around on the d-line" said Kyhri. "I'm always on the field"
"The schools that have been talking to me the most lately have been USF and Clemson, the Clemson coach came by and saw me a few weeks ago." With all the interest the 6-foot-4, 292 pound Big Man says he has two favorites.
"I speak a lot with Coach Canales and Coach Leavitt," said Kyrhi. "They congratulated me on my season and told me how excited they are for me to come in on my visit. They talk about football but also talk to me about school and my personal life."
Kyrhi is also friends with Bulls true freshmen OL Jeremiah Warren who also went to Bay and keeps him informed.
"We talk every now and then he tells me a few things about the team and the school, but mostly he tells me that they offer a lot of help with school and tutoring and stuff. Here we don't get that one on one help, and I'm not that great with math."
"I actually just got the book from USF yesterday, and have been reading it and learning about the school."
Thornton now has two visits set with possibly more to come.
"I'm going to USF on Jan 18th and to Clemson on the 25th. FSU has been talking about setting up a visit before signing day, but it hasn't been set yet."
The versatile big man said he has followed the Bulls this season and is very impressed with the coaching staff.
"I really like the USF coaching staff, every one of them writes me every week. They're really cool to me," said Kyrhi. "They told me they're looking at me at both tackle and at end, but it doesn't matter to me as long as I play defense."
Thornton said he wants to stay in Florida and will make his decision after he takes all of his visits.
Kyrhi Thornton is one that the staff has been high on for some time. He was an under-the-radar type kid, but has been getting some attention lately. The Bulls have been successful in recruiting the panhandle with players like George Selvie, Josh Smiley, and Jeremiah Warren, and adding a player like Thornton would be a huge asset to the line. It appears that it's a two horse race between the Bulls and the Noles, and should remain close.