In the ABCs of prospective college majors, it usually takes a while to reach
But that interest may have an impact on where one of Georgia's top players
winds up in 2003.
Skyler Thornton, a 6-foot, 192-pound running back who helped lead
LaGrange High School to the Class 3A state championship, says a love of animals
growing up led him to pick his future education route.
"We've always had a lot of pets around the house," he said. "I really love
having them around, so I started thinking about doing something in the future
where I could make a career out of it. Wherever I go to college, they'll have to
have a good zoology program."
He's got several suitors to pick from entering the summer camp scene.
Florida, Maryland, LSU, Arkansas, ECU and Vanderbilt have all extended
scholarship offers. Georgia and Georgia Tech have also been showing interest.
"I don't really have any favorites at this time," Thornton said. "I want to
see what everybody is about, make sure I find the right place."
What will make "the right place?"
"I need to go somewhere that has a good coaching staff I can trust and relate
to," Thornton said. "I'd like to go somewhere with tradition and good academics
for my major."
LaGrange coach Steve Pardue says whoever lands Thornton will be getting a
true gem. "He's such a powerful runner, incredibly strong, and he's got some
speed to break away in the open field, too. Put that together with great hands
and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, you've got yourself a
terrific running back."
Thornton (4.5 forty, 310 bench, 500 squat) says he likes to pattern his game
after NFL star Eddie George of the Tennessee Titans.
"He likes the contact and will run over you, but he's also got the smooth
moves," said Thornton, who tallied 1,592 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior and
has amassed more than 2,700 yards for his career. "I think I run that way, too."
Thornton plans to camp at Georgia and Auburn this summer.