Friday, May 24, 2024

Thornhill rewarded for abilities

November 27, 2001
Senior linebacker Josh Thornhill tackles Indiana fullback Jeremi Johnson in Spartan Stadium earlier this season. Thornhill, because of his success on and off the field, is the recipient of the John S. Pingel Award

MSU senior linebacker Josh Thornhill was selected Monday as the recipient of the John S. Pingel Award by the Michigan Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

The Pingel award, based on academic and athletic performance, is named in honor of the former Spartan All-America halfback and National Football Foundation Hall of Famer. Thornhill will also receive a $1,000 postgraduate scholarship.

“I’m sure that there were many other deserving candidates,” Thornhill, who carries a 3.35 grade-point average in kinesiology, said in a statement. “This award is special because it’s named after a former Michigan State All-American and I appreciate the history of this football program.

“It hasn’t always been easy but I have strived to excel both in the classroom and on the football field.”

Thornhill, who is also a Butkus Award semifinalist, will appear on the national ballot for the Academic All-America Team after being named to the Verizon Academic All-District IV Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

On the field, Thornhill leads MSU in tackles with 118, including 89 solo tackles. In his last eight starts, Thornhill has recorded double digits in tackles, including a season high of 16 against Iowa on Oct. 13.

The Lansing native is also second on the team in tackles for losses with 13 for 25 yards. An awards ceremony will also be held for Thornhill on Dec. 5 in Warren.

“He has been the glue keeping not only the defense but really the entire team together,” MSU head coach Bobby Williams said. “He’s a perfect player, it’s not often you get a guy that does everything you ask him to do and more.”

Thornhill was also named as a third team All-American by the Sporting News on Monday and senior tight end Chris Baker was named to the second team.

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