The first thing Thornton took in was the football banquet and he liked what he saw. He knew what type of season had in 2009 and he liked how Coach Richt sent those seniors off.
"That gala is the way to go out man. I like how they laid it all out there, how they awarded the players even though there was some bumps in the road this year, and the whole presentation was outstanding. I thought it was a first-class thing."
"It is not a bad way to go out at all. It was fun, the players loved it, and I liked it a lot."
One of the coaches the 6-foot-1, 275 pound defensive tackle out of Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson is closest to is Rodney Garner. Those two have known each other for almost four years now and they just hung out while in Athens.
"We didn't really talk about anything different than we have talked about before," said Thornton. "We just have a relationship already, so he knows me, I know him, and I know what he is all about."
"He did kind of break things down for me and show me how I could have the opportunity to make an early impact there and help the program at defensive tackle. It was cool to hang out with him because I know him so well already."
One of the defensive tackles that is returning was Thornton's host at Georgia. The Dawgs are losing guys like Jeffrey Owens, Kade Weston, Geno Atkins, and Ricardo Crawford, but DeAngelo Tyson is headed back and he showed Thornton around.
"I met DeAngelo my very first time up at Georgia and we clicked right away, so he was the one hosting me. He kind of just led the way for me this weekend and it was cool. I hung out with him, Abry Jones, Derrick Lott, Justin Houston, and most of the team at some time really."
"We all went over to Trinton Sturdivant's dorm on Friday night and played some games. It was fun being around the players and just clicking with them like that. I like all the guys there and they just welcomed me the whole time I was there."
So what about the mother? She was a key part of this visit and a big reason why the number 11 rated DT in the country decided to visit UGA this weekend.
"I knew they were having the gala, so I wanted her to see everything that she could during the visit. She had never been to Georgia with me before, so I wanted her to see everything, asked questions she wanted to ask, and things like that."
"She really liked it over there to be honest. She wanted to learn most about the academics at Georgia and just what type of people are over there. She liked the academics and the people, so she enjoyed the visit."
Mike's mother is going to play a role in his decision, so getting here out there with him is big.
"I am going to take here to Auburn and Miami too so she can help me," he revealed. "She is not only going to help me, but she is going to be a big part of my decision. I am going to listen to what she has to say."
"We did not talk much about stuff too serious to be real. We talked about my high school season, how things have been going, and things like that. He did not even really talk much with me about the Defensive Coordinator position with me because he knows it is not going to affect me too much."
"Coach Richt really just laid it out there real with me like he always does and told me straight up about how he would really like for me to be a Bulldog. He does not say things to just say them, he was just straight with me from the beginning. I like that about him."
Thornton praised Coach Richt, he said his mother enjoyed the trip, and he talked about how close he and Coach Garner are, so where do the Dawgs stand on his list?
"It is all still the same for me," he answered. "I still don't have a leader or anything, but I know I need to step things up because I am running out of time."
"I can't say if the visit helped or hurt Georgia for me because I had seen it all before. I can say I relate to the players well, that my momma liked it, and that they are on my list. They have something that I like for sure, but Penn State did too."
"I just have to take all of my visits and then see who had something a little different. I just have to find the best place for me. Everyone thinks that Georgia is the home-state school and that is where I am going, but that is not it. I like Georgia, but not because it is closest to home. I will go as far as I need to find the best place for me."
"I know what Georgia has, I like the coaches there, the players are very cool, and they are still on my list."
Florida is a new school he is now considering and Auburn and Miami are the other two that he will likely visit officially.
Thornton is no longer graduating early because he just is not ready to make his decision.
Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Manager for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.