Mitchell-Thornton meets Kiffin up close

It’s not often that a prospect remains firmly committed to a coach he’s never met.

Most prospects would waver. Not Nigel Mitchell-Thornton.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga., had only spoken to newly hired Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin once on the phone since he was hired Dec. 1.

Mitchell-Thornton said Kiffin apologized for not visiting him in Georgia this month. After this weekend, consider the apology accepted.

“At the official he was a great guy,” Mitchell-Thornton said of Kiffin. “He talked like one of the guys.”

As Mitchell-Thornton headed home to Georgia on Sunday afternoon, he was still impressed with Kiffin’s handling of his first official visit weekend as a Vol.

“It was great,” Mitchell-Thornton said. “It was just a great experience.

“Although he is new, he acted like he had been there since the beginning of the year.”

Meeting with academic advisors was a high priority for Mitchell-Thornton, who plans to enroll at UT in January.

“They just made everything crystal clear for me,” he said.

Mitchell-Thornton said he’s not concerned about enrolling at UT before he knows who Tennessee’s next defensive coordinator will be. Kiffin is expected to hire his father, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No formal announcement has been made.

“That would be almost like winning the lottery,” Mitchell-Thornton said of playing for Monte Kiffin. “You’re learning an NFL system in college.

“I think I’ll be able to adjust to any kind of new system no matter what it is.”

Safety Eric Berry and linebacker Nick Reveiz served as Mitchell-Thornton’s hosts during his official visit. That was probably a bit of challenge since the semester ended last week and few students were on campus.

“I still was able to get somewhat of a feel,” Mitchell-Thornton said. “We still had a couple of guys to show us around from the football team.”

Academics, facilities and campus life were all worth checking out. But finally meeting Lane Kiffin was key.

“As a person,” Mitchell-Thornton said, “I thought he was just a great guy.”

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Comments » 53

wesw33z#667083 writes:

let's keep 'em coming

invisiblekid writes:

Glad the visit went well with Mitchell-Thornton but yesterday was a bad day in losing Ediwn Herbert to the Gators.

yeavols#228407 writes:

YAHOO..Go Coach K.

orangecountry21 writes:

I can't wait until we announce Monte DC. As Mitchell-Thornton said, recruits must see that as a dream come true.

rthestar#368358 writes:

who else actually made their visit this weekend?

orangecountry21 writes:

Clemson just got Johnathan Meeks too. We lost Herbert and a possible safety in Meeks.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to rthestar#368358:

who else actually made their visit this weekend?

You would think that one of these KNS "reporters" would have been on campus to check it out & "report" on here. Some new news would be nice.

Go VOLS!!!

tnbigg writes:

Al Wilson - Part Deux - Bring it on!

orangecountry21 writes:

This is where KNS news gets weak. Early non-SEC basketball period, football is over, recruiting is slow, and rennovations are not under way yet. Just got to grind it out.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to tnbigg:

Al Wilson - Part Deux - Bring it on!

That would be a dream come true, brother!

copan07#220906 writes:

I just read the Herbert news on another site. That to me sounds like the largest loss so far in our recruiting class. Four **** JUCO Defensive Tackle that could probably start right away at our most desperate position.

orangecountry21 writes:

in response to copan07#220906:

I just read the Herbert news on another site. That to me sounds like the largest loss so far in our recruiting class. Four **** JUCO Defensive Tackle that could probably start right away at our most desperate position.

I agree. Forget Giles's cocky a s s. All it will take is a good licking from Eric Berry next year in Knoxville to straighten him out. But I think CLK is waiting for the end of the NFL season to say, " Here's my dad." Who knows. They might come, the big DTs that is.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to orangecountry21:

This is where KNS news gets weak. Early non-SEC basketball period, football is over, recruiting is slow, and rennovations are not under way yet. Just got to grind it out.

I know, but I'm snowed in & bored. Oh well, bowls start next weekend.
I think we'll do OK recruiting once the staff gets in place. Next year should be a he11 of a class. Give it time Vol Fans.

Go VOLS!!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to invisiblekid:

Glad the visit went well with Mitchell-Thornton but yesterday was a bad day in losing Ediwn Herbert to the Gators.

Well, that makes my day.

OrangeAppeal writes:

I'll reserve comment until I hear Naffy/RobTheVol's expert analysis of Thornton.

agarn writes:

ESPN is reporting that Monte has told the Bucs he will not be returning next season to join his son at UT.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to OrangeAppeal:

I'll reserve comment until I hear Naffy/RobTheVol's expert analysis of Thornton.

Who is this guy? Was he also Dvol? Just wondering, don't want to get anything started.

Go VOLS!!!

tennesseeike writes:

I am a little concerned we do not have a staff in place to assist the head coach. If I was being recruited I would want to know who my position coach is going to be.
Makes me wonder if Kiffin is going after assistants who are currently active in bowl practice or working for pros. I do understand his dad will be here when TB finishes the season.
Any thoughts?

alert writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Who is this guy? Was he also Dvol? Just wondering, don't want to get anything started.

Go VOLS!!!

Oh yes alert

SemperVol writes:

in response to copan07#220906:

I just read the Herbert news on another site. That to me sounds like the largest loss so far in our recruiting class. Four **** JUCO Defensive Tackle that could probably start right away at our most desperate position.

You're very right... huge blow. But we are getting a visit from a highly touted 4-star DT soon I think.

6'4", 335-pound Antwan Lowery.

Let's hope we land him and somehow keep Big Dan Williams.

tennesseebee writes:

in response to agarn:

ESPN is reporting that Monte has told the Bucs he will not be returning next season to join his son at UT.

i really, really hope this is true.i understand why the announcement is not official(playoffs),but it would sure give recruiting a shot in the arm to let them know we have a top nfl dc.

tnbigg writes:

I guess the Bucs aren't going to the World Series....

hmhawk writes:

I just hope Monte walks on water like everyone seems he does.If our O didn't adapt to Clawson can our D adapt to Monte?Just asking.No personal attacks warranted but will be taken with a grain of salt.

joshvols writes:

he doesn't have to walk on water, i'll be happy if he just has his cornerbacks play closer to the line than 15 yards on third down

hmhawk writes:

in response to joshvols:

he doesn't have to walk on water, i'll be happy if he just has his cornerbacks play closer to the line than 15 yards on third down

Last I seen the D ranked #4 in the nation.Just a thought.

Gchild writes:

I agree, losing Herbert is the biggest loss thus far. Hopefully Coach Kiffin can convince Antwon Lowerey to become a Vol. He is supposed to be taking a visit at some point and he is a four star DT that is huge. 325lbs.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Who is this guy? Was he also Dvol? Just wondering, don't want to get anything started.

Go VOLS!!!

The evolution of Naffy is as follows:

1)nafslov (Naffy)
2)dvolsfan
3)RobtheVol
4)TBA

Gchild writes:

Sorry about reapeating that information about Lowery, I didnt notice someone had just said that

ncvol writes:

Glad Mitchell-Thornton is still with us. Did he commit?
Go Vols!

hmhawk writes:

Pittsburgh just got a gimmee.Sheesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jesseejames57 writes:

tennessee needs big linebackers.kiffin needs to recruit big linebackers.good job.

TommyJack writes:

in response to murrayvol:

The evolution of Naffy is as follows:

1)nafslov (Naffy)
2)dvolsfan
3)RobtheVol
4)TBA

4. 1 trick pony

jfg1980 writes:

Good prospect! We will still land some more great defensive players. National Signing Day isn't until Feb. 4th. Thats well after the NFL season is over if you know what I mean.

GR82BAVOL writes:

in response to ncvol:

Glad Mitchell-Thornton is still with us. Did he commit?
Go Vols!

Read the article ncvol.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Well, that makes my day.

Glad to be of service.

If it's any consolation, we did get an unofficial visit from Philip Lutzenkirchen, 4* tight end from GA with some sick highlight reel catches.

Also supposed to get visits from Lowery, 4* DT, Montgomery 4* DE, Jeffrey, 4*WR, and Moses #1 tackle in the country. Also have a suspicion we might get a second look from Chris Bonds, who was being recruited by Reaves for SC.

Also got official word from Kiffin the elder today:

http://blogs.tampabay.com/bucs/2008/1...

http://blogs.tampabay.com/bucs/2008/1...

invisiblekid writes:

oops:

http://tennessee.rivals.com/viewprosp...

Lutzenkirchen highlights.

invisiblekid writes:

In other news, Auburn fans at Rivals are 93% against the Chizik hire at this point.

invisiblekid writes:

Oh yeah, getting a visit from Marcus Hall as well:

http://rivals100.rivals.com/viewprosp...

orangecountry21 writes:

Impressed by future visitors if you have sources. By February 4th I have a feeling around a #12 recruiting class

alwaysorange81 writes:

why is it I get my best recruiting news from the posts on articles rather than the articles themselves? is Govols for information from kns or a forum where you're on your own??

invisiblekid writes:

in response to orangecountry21:

Impressed by future visitors if you have sources. By February 4th I have a feeling around a #12 recruiting class

Everything I posted is straight from Rivals, not one of those "inside source" guys.

Hard to say where this class ends up at this point. I feel pretty safe about top 15 though.

blitzshoot writes:

Sounds like the new coach knows what he's doing.
Good night.

Doobz15 writes:

in response to invisiblekid:

Glad the visit went well with Mitchell-Thornton but yesterday was a bad day in losing Ediwn Herbert to the Gators.

This will be the last time you hear of Edwin Herbert. The Gators are deep at DT and when is the last time a juco player really turned out to be good. A juco player's senior year is really his sophomore year in college, no time to bloom.

JBruce writes:

in response to invisiblekid:

oops:

http://tennessee.rivals.com/viewprosp...

Lutzenkirchen highlights.

Can you imagine Bob Kesling trying to pronounce this guys name every game??

TOUCHDOWN Lutzenwhatever the hell his name is...

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to JBruce:

Can you imagine Bob Kesling trying to pronounce this guys name every game??

TOUCHDOWN Lutzenwhatever the hell his name is...

Kesling needs to stick just to basketball, and somebody needs to tell him right away.

southernson writes:

Welcome to Kiffinville young man, we are glad to have you.

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to alwaysorange81:

why is it I get my best recruiting news from the posts on articles rather than the articles themselves? is Govols for information from kns or a forum where you're on your own??

Jamaal, We're basically just a bunch of Tennessee football fans, with a few interlopers, who want to keep up with the Vols. We have a cross-section of people, some who obviously haven't made it past special education classes in high school, and others who will give good information. We have more name-callers/argumentative people, but a few usually have good takes. Welcome to the board! SAVol

ibvolman writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

Kesling needs to stick just to basketball, and somebody needs to tell him right away.

WeLove, that is one post where I fully agree with you. Good job!!!!

Agee_Vols_82 writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

Kesling needs to stick just to basketball, and somebody needs to tell him right away.

Agree.
Did I just agree with something Welove just posted.
This Kool-aid is strong.....

Volunatic writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

Kesling needs to stick just to basketball, and somebody needs to tell him right away.

Kesling is a pretty good radio announcer. He may be no John Ward, but from what I've heard John Ward wasn't a great FB radio announcer for several years, either.

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