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
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