A year ago, Mike Thornton was one of those countless spring practice stories about a guy finally getting his chance.
From seldom-used reserve to first-team nose guard with a cute nickname‚Äîdefensive lineman Garrison Smith called him ‚ÄúMeatball‚Äù because of his round shape– to boot.
It turned out the 6-foot-1, 290-pound Thornton still didn‚Äôt get on the field much for Georgia last season.
The now fifth-year senior played in 11 games, making five tackles with one sack.
‚ÄúThe younger guys were pushing hard, and I guess they just beat me out,‚Äù Thornton said.
There‚Äôs a new defensive coaching staff, but Thornton doesn‚Äôt sound overly concerned about trying to pass Chris Mayes on the depth chart this spring.
He talks about helping to ‚Äúcoach up the young guys as best as I can.”
He‚Äôs getting his reps but he‚Äôs trying to set the example for his teammates moreso than trying to land a starting job.
Thornton says he ‚Äúknows it‚Äôs my fifth year and they have younger guys that they need to develop. Whatever role they want me to play, I‚Äôll play it. I just want to give it all to the team and get my degree and hopefully pursue the NFL after that.‚Äù
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