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Josh Thornhill
Josh Thornhill

Class:
Junior

Hometown:
Lansing, Mich.

High School:
Eastern

Height / Weight:
6-2 / 237

Position:
Linebacker

Birthdate:
01/19/1980

Experience:
2L


All-star candidate enters his third season as a starting linebacker, his first full season at MIKE linebacker . . . his move inside to middle linebacker during spring drills allowed T.J. Turner to shift outside to SAM linebacker . . . joins offensive guard Shaun Mason and cornerback Renaldo Hill as tri-captains for the 2000 season . . . before the position change was announced he was rated among the nation's top 20 outside linebackers by The Sporting News (No. 18) . . . preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection by The Sporting News . . .

AS A SOPHOMORE: Named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team in 1999 . . . shared the MSU Iron Man Award with defensive tackle Jace Sayler for their dedication in the weight room . . . started all 12 games at WILL linebacker and played 243.5 minutes . . . stood fourth on the team in tackles with 73 (33 solos, 40 assists), including six for losses (22 yards) and three sacks (15) . . . recorded nine tackles (5-4) vs. Penn State, including two sacks (12 yards) . . . reached double figures in tackles twice . . . contributed 12 stops (7-5) vs. Wisconsin to earn Spartan Defensive Player of the Week honors . . . registered a career-high 18 tackles (8-10) vs. Illinois, including a sack (3 yards) . . . made six tackles each vs. Northwestern (2-4) and Oregon (3-3) . . . also credited with seven pass break-ups . . .

AS A FRESHMAN: Second-team Freshman All-America selection by The Sporting News . . . shared the Jim Adams Award with placekicker Paul Edinger as the team's unsung heroes in 1998 . . . saw action in 11 games as a true freshman, including six starts, and played 214 minutes . . . started two games at MIKE linebacker (vs. Indiana and Northwestern) and the last four at WILL (vs. Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State) . . . finished fourth on the team in tackles with 80 (46 solos, 34 assists), including four for losses (15 yards) . . . averaged 9.5 tackles in his six starts . . . reached double figures in tackles five times, including 10 stops (4-6) vs. Illinois . . . recorded 15 tackles (10-5) in MSU's 28-24 upset win over top-ranked Ohio State . . . made 10 stops (7-3) vs. Northwestern . . . selected Spartan Defensive Player of the Week after registering 11 tackles (8-3), including a sack (5 yards), and three pass break-ups vs. Minnesota . . . produced a season-high 16 tackles (9-7) in his first collegiate start vs. Indiana . . . played a season-high 35 minutes in the double-overtime game vs. Indiana . . .

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Named to at least eight prep All-America teams, including SuperPrep, Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report, G & W Recruiting Report, PrepStar, The National Recruiting Advisor, Street & Smith's, Parade and USA Today . . . selected as SuperPrep's Defensive Player of the Year . . . ranked as the nation's No. 10 linebacker by The National Recruiting Advisor . . . rated No. 2 in the state on The Detroit News Blue Chip list . . . also ranked No. 2 on the Lansing State Journal's "Catch 22" list . . . first-team all-state and All-Capital Athletic Conference . . . named area defensive player of the year . . . presented National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award . . . tallied 150 tackles as a senior, including nine for losses and three sacks . . . also caused three fumbles in 1997 . . . recorded 301 tackles over his last two seasons . . . father Charlie played on Michigan State's back-to-back Big Ten championship teams in 1965 and '66 . . . four-year starter for coach Mark Ditsworth at Eastern High School in Lansing, Mich. . . . runs 4.6 in the 40 . . . born Jan. 19, 1980 . . . majoring in kinesiology.

Thornhill's Career Statistics

Year G/GS UT AT TM TFL-Yds. Sacks PBU
1998 11/6 46 34 80 4-15 1-5 5
1999 12/12 33 40 73 6-22 3-15 7
Career 23/18 79 74 153 10-37 4-20 12

Thornhill's Career Highs

Tackles: 18, vs. Illinois (1999)
Tackles for Losses: 2, vs. Penn State (1999)
Sacks: 2, vs. Penn State (1999)

Thornhill's Game-By-Game Statistics

1998

Defense UT AT TM TFL Sacks
Colorado State DNP
Oregon 2 2 4 0-0 0-0
Notre Dame 3 2 5 0-0 0-0
Michigan 0 0 0 0-0 0-0
Central Michigan 2 1 3 0-0 0-0
Indiana 9 7 16 0-0 0-0
Minnesota 8 3 11 1-5 1-5
Northwestern 7 3 10 1-4 0-0
Ohio State 10 5 15 1-2 0-0
Purdue 0 3 3 0-0 0-0
Illinois 4 6 10 1-4 0-0
Penn State 1 2 3 0-0 0-0
Totals 46 34 80 4-15 1-5

1999

Defense UT AT TM TFL Sacks
Oregon 3 3 6 1-1 0-0
Eastern Michigan 0 1 1 0-0 0-0
Notre Dame 2 2 4 0-0 0-0
Illinois 8 10 18 1-3 1-3
Iowa 0 2 2 0-0 0-0
Michigan 2 2 4 0-0 0-0
Purdue 1 4 5 0-0 0-0
Wisconsin 7 5 12 0-0 0-0
Ohio State 2 2 4 1-3 0-0
Northwestern 2 4 6 1-3 0-0
Penn State 5 4 9 2-12 2-12
Florida 1 1 2 0-0 0-0
Totals 33 40 73 6-22 3-15