Thornton moving back to receiver

Leon Thornton arrived on campus as a receiver and moved to cornerback late last season.

Now, the sophomore is returning to offense and Kevin Wilson hopes the position change fosters a change in attitude for Thornton, too.

Despite possibly losing Simmie Cobbs for the season due to a broken ankle, Indiana isn’t hurting for receivers. Wilson said Thornton needs an attitude adjustment and the switch to offense, where the sophomore wants to play, may provide results.

“It’s more for Leon than we need him at receiver,” Wilson said. “… He’s been a little bit moody and just needs to mature and grow up. I said, ‘Hey, I don’t need you at receiver, but you’re not playing defense. So we’ll see. Maybe that guy gets back in the mix.”

247 Sports graded the 6-foot-1, 198-pound Illinois native as a three-star receiver coming out of high school in 2015. He appeared in nine games on offense last fall before injuries to IU’s secondary contributors necessitated a move to corner in late November.

He posted three tackles in his defensive debut against Maryland and started IU’s regular season finale at Purdue.

Wilson hopes the latest switch works to get Thornton back on track as a contributor.

“He was playing a year ago at receiver. I thought that we needed him at DB,” Wilson said. “Played great over there — was playing great. Actually, we had him playing some safety. Looked great. But he’s been immature. He needs to grow up a little bit, but I thought part of his immaturity might be frustration. I said, ‘Where do you want to play?’ Like Chris Covington, ‘Where to you want to play?’

“(Thornton) said, ‘I want to play receiver.’

“‘Well, come on back. No guarantee you’re going to play,’ but maybe that helps a little bit.”