Tennessee has landed one of their biggest targets in the transfer portal this afternoon. Dont’e Thornton, a transferring receiver who spent the last two seasons with Oregon, has committed to Josh Heupel and the Volunteers.
Thornton revealed his decision on Monday afternoon.
The rising junior has a 6-5 frame to work with, giving Heupel another downfield threat to add to his offense. Tennessee lost Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman from last year’s team, leaving a lot of production on the table to replace. Thornton will help do that, along with Bru McCoy, Squirrel White and Ramel Keyton.
Thornton’s numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he began coming on late in the year for the Ducks. A four catch, 151 yard performance came against Utah. He caught a 46 yard touchdown pass against Washington, too. Most of his production came in the month of November, and now he brings that late momentum to Knoxville.
Thornton is a former four-star prospect, coming out of the Baltimore area. Per 247Sports, he was the 57th rated player in the class of 2021 — the 7th rated receiver in the country. He announced his intention to enter the portal on November 29th.
This decision came down to Tennessee, Arkansas and Auburn. Thornton’s visit to Knoxville over the weekend was enough for him to commit today.
Thornton joins tight end McCallan Castles and tackle Andrej Karic as transfer portal additions on offense. The Volunteers continue to reload, looking to recreate the magic of last season. Between the work in the portal and the Orange Bowl performance, they’re certainly off to a nice start.