RECRUITING: Thornton-Jack looking to stay local

THE SEASON is over for Ballard's <b>Nick Thornton-Jack</b> and the 6-4 290-pound offensive lineman updated on all things recruiting, including which schools make up his list of favorites.

Built low to the ground, Nick Thornton-Jack likely projects as a center at the next level. The schools recruiting him the hardest right now have a local flavor.

"Definitely the local schools," said Thornton-Jack. "Western has recently given me a couple phone calls. I'm getting a lot of letters from Washington State, Washington, Oregon. Eastern and Central are both calling me. Oregon State, if I didn't mention that one."

He is currently taking a wait-and-see approach on recruiting, looking for that first offer.

"I'm just waiting to see who shows the most interest. Pretty much, the first offer I get will be the school that has the most interest in me. I'm getting a couple of looks from Idaho too."

All schools are even for Thornton-Jack, though the two in-state D-1 programs would have to be considered his slight leaders at this point.

"The two in-state schools. I'm looking at Washington to stay close to my family, and then I'm looking at Washington State because I hear they have a good program in Radio Communications and Broadcasting...I can see myself doing that type of deal."

Most important in choosing a college for Thornton-Jack is education, a good environment and being able to stay in close contact with his family.

"Definitely, my studies, that's really important to me...and then good people around the program...and then being able to be in touch with my family is also important."

Thornton-Jack said the things he's most working on are continuing to improve his quickness and footwork.

AFTER REACHING the state title game last season, Ballard (5-4) lost two of their last three and failed to make the playoffs this year. Last year's team boasted Tyler Ashby up front, and it was a formidable task for the Beavers to replace the offensive lineman as well as departing seniors Cole Morgan, J.T. Diederichs, Keauntea Bankhead and Tony Thompson.

Thornton-Jack, along with Adrian Diaz, stepped into the breach and performed well.

"Personally, I think I did fairly well. There was a lot of pressure I think, in coming out of the shadows from Ashby last year. There was a lot of stuff resting on the shoulders of myself and Adrian. So considering the circumstances, I think I did very well and I think Adrian did very well."

At 6-4 and 290 pounds, most schools are looking at Thornton-Jack at the center spot given his attributes and skills set.

"I have the attributes of a good center, I have quick hands, quick feet -- I study martial arts so I've (translated some aspects of that to football). I'm quick off the ball, good at snap counts."

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