Phenix City (Ala.) Central 2019 safety Ray Thornton picked up a big offer from Clemson on Thursday following his performance at the Dabo Swinney Camp last week.
“It’s exciting because that’s one of my top schools,” Thornton told TCI, “and my mom, she also loves Clemson and Coach (Dabo) Swinney.”
Clemson’s head coach informed Thornton of the offer via text message Thursday.
“Coach Swinney, he told me,” Thornton said. “He was impressed on what I did at the camp, and also my grades, and he wanted to officially offer me a scholarship.
“I was very excited. I’m not going to say I couldn’t believe it, but it was really exciting.”
Clemson freshman receiver Justyn Ross is Thornton’s former teammate at Central High School.
“We’re real close,” Thornton said. “We talk every day.”
Thornton says the two have dreamed about playing together at the college level.
“It’s exciting because we’ve talked about this before everything happened,” Thornton said. “It kind of was a dream.”
Area recruiter Todd Bates, who helped the Tigers land Ross’s signature in February, is heading Thornton’s recruitment along with safeties coach Mickey Conn.
Thornton received positive feedback from Conn after competing at the Swinney Camp last Tuesday.
“He told me I could definitely play with them, and I definitely have the potential to play,” Thornton said. “He said he would have offered on the spot, but it had to go through other coaches.”
Thornton also camped at Clemson last summer and attended multiple games in the fall. He plans to return to campus for the Tigers’ All In Cookout next month.
He intends to make his college decision before the start of his senior season, and said Clemson has jumped into his top group of schools with the offer.
“They’re definitely one of my top schools because that was one of my favorite schools growing up,” he said.
Asked what stands out most to him about Clemson, Thornton said, “The environment, the fans. I look at the fans, how they treat the recruits and the players and stuff. The fans, they’re great, and Coach Swinney, I love him. And also my mom, she loves Coach Swinney.”
Thornton, who has over a dozen total offers, cited Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Auburn and Duke as the other schools standing out to him.
He recently visited Duke, Auburn and Ole Miss, and will be at Georgia Tech today.
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