Hoosiers move Thornton to cornerback #iufb

Short on bodies in the secondary, Kevin Wilson had an idea this week.

Rather than keep Leon Thornton on the depth chart as a backup receiver, Wilson moved the freshman to a more pressing area of need. After switching to cornerback on Monday, Thornton made three tackles against the Terrapins, including an impressive open-field stop against Maryland star Will Likely in the first half.

Wilson said after the game that Thornton’s move may only be a short-term solution while IU’s defensive backfield returns to full health.

“Andre Brown is close to getting back,” Wilson said. “Chase Dutra has an ankle injury and didn’t dress today. He wasn’t there. Jameel Cook has an injury and is out. We started Kiante Walton and he’s been out since Game 2. (Devonte) Williams was a starter and he’s been out.

“We gave recognition (after the game), and particularly to Leon for just being a good teammate. Tried to make it easy for him and it was short-term. I’m not saying he’s going to be moved there forever. We looked at him in preseason. We thought we had so many young DBs that we thought he’d play receiver. He’s already played and he’s been in the mix some and has been playing special teams. He’s 200 pounds, he’s physical, so you just have to be smart with him. He did a tremendous job and helped out a lot today.”


  1. Not that I approve or disapprove (as if my two cents mattered) of the above move, this is an example of one of the myriad decisions coaching staffs have to make. Staffs that have a lot more knowledge and info than we armchair QB types have. Which is why I roll my eyes when I read some of the second guessing that goes on here. But that’s what we kibitzers do!

  2. Good point. Being critical of the caliber of a player’s performance is one thing. Being critical after learning he was moved to the position on Monday is another.

  3. Since Thornton made three tackles in one game playing cornerback for the very first time, he should be moved to #1 on the DB depth chart.

  4. Podunker, you never know and I agree it could be a good move. It is a shame Cobbs is one of our better receivers because on film in recruiting sites he was a hard hitting safety in high school. He is developing into a very good receiver though as he gains experience. He loses focus now and then on passes but over he is very good. I wonder if Ricky Jones is hurt because he disappeared in the Maryland game.

    As a side note IU picked up a second commit for 2017; OT Tyler Knight from Saint Pete, FL here is some game film http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2909035/tyler-knight

    He has good size as a junior and has good feet. He looks to be a very good OL player that can grow into Big Ten size. He also makes contact and maintains contact which is really difficult to get HS players to do. I was impressed with how long he maintained contact staying with the block.

  5. V13- I was ready to think they were settling for a less talented recruit since this kid isn’t rated. But after seeing him play, I think he’s a really nice pick up. Good size, good strength, moves really well with good balance. He’s a bit nasty too. Nice get!

  6. v13: Maintain contact? (#6) I love how he flops on his victims after he has knocked ’em down! Nasty, indeed.

  7. Hoosier’86, One thing is sure, the offensive staff can recruit outstanding players year after year. I look at this past year’s defensive recruits and believe the new DC and DL coaches will improve the defense given time to get their players in. They saw the secondary needed to be addressed and that is why we have so many freshmen playing there now. With the emphasis on the ‘bigs’ I am looking forward to see who Coach McDaniel can bring in on the DL.

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