Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football A Top 6 School For Rivals100 WR Dont'e Thornton Jr.
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Notre Dame A Top 6 School For Rivals100 WR Dont'e Thornton Jr.

Arguably Notre Dame's top wide receiver target cut his list in half on Saturday, and the Fighting Irish made the top group.

Baltimore (Md.) Mount St. Joseph class of 2021 playmaker Dont'e Thornton Jr. had a top 12 schools list that he announced April 4. but his new list is much more manageable.

His updated top schools list consists of Arizona State, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oregon, USC and Virginia.

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Rivals ranks Dont'e Thornton Jr. as the No. 53 prospect nationally.
Rivals ranks Dont'e Thornton Jr. as the No. 53 prospect nationally. (Nick Lucero/

Thornton has visited Notre Dame before, although his last time in South Bend was back for an Irish camp in 2018. The 6-4, 185-pounder was scheduled to return to campus in April, but that was cancelled due to the dead period enacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Notre Dame offered Thornton last September and have been all over him since. Notre Wide receivers coach Del Alexander has been the main point of contact, but offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and head coach Brian Kelly are involved here as well.

Kelly visited Thornton's high school back in January during the contact period.

“One of the things the coaches said was that me and the other receivers they're trying to bring in would lead college football in receiving and we'd have the best receiving corps," Thornton said.

“They were telling me about their experience at the school, how they benefited from the school, about the coaches and the football program,” Thornton said. “I’ve followed their program. Equanimeous St. Brown, one of my favorite players, used to go there.

On April 6, east coast analyst Adam Friedman wrote an article "ranking the contenders" in Thornton's recruitment. He listed the Irish as the No. 3 contender, followed by Oregon and Penn State, respectively.

"The Fighting Irish have been gaining some momentum with Thornton. He was on campus last summer and really enjoyed the atmosphere. Thornton also said he was comfortable there because it reminded him of his high school. Chase Claypool and Thornton has talked in the past and it seems like those conversations have made an impact on Thornton’s thought process. Look for Notre Dame to continue to push for Thornton once they are allowed to host recruits again."

Rivals ranks Thornton as the No. 53 overall player and No. 9 wide receiver nationally, plus the No. 3 prospect in the state of Maryland.


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