Tennessee Football and head coach Josh Heupel received a major transfer portal commitment on Monday afternoon. Via a post on social media, former Oregon wide receiver Dont’e Thornton announced that he was transferring to the University of Tennessee.
The 6-foot-5, 197-pound wide receiver is extremely talented on the field as he uses both his speed and size to his advantage.
During his first year with the Ducks in 2021, Thornton hauled in 175 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions in four games. The Baltimore, Maryland native collected 90 yards and a score on just four receptions in the Valero Alamo Bowl to close out his freshman year.
Dont’e Thornton: Tennessee Lands Oregon Receiver Transfer
With former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix joining the Ducks over the offseason, Thornton was set up for a breakout 2022 season. The sophomore receiver played in 11 of Oregon’s first 12 games with three starts before announcing his intent to enter the transfer portal after the Ducks’ final regular season game.
Thornton hauled in 366 yards and one touchdown on 17 receptions during the 2022 season with Oregon. Thornton’s best game this season came against Utah, catching four passes for 151 yards in the Ducks’ victory.
Dont’e Thornton ended the 2022 season with a 66.7 grade on 306 snaps from Pro Football Focus. In comparison, Tennessee’s receivers finished as follows:
- WR Squirrel White — 79.1 (236 plays)
- WR Jalin Hyatt — 77.4 (733 plays)
- WR Cedric Tillman — 70.3 (368 plays)
- WR Bru McCoy — 66.6 (790 plays)
- WR Ramel Keyton — 64.6 (591 plays)
Thorton will have a big opportunity to add to his stats with the Tennessee offense. During the 2022 season alone, Jalin Hyatt went for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns on 67 receptions. Bru McCoy went for 667 and 4 on 52 receptions while Ramel Keyton had 562 and 5 on 31 receptions. Squirrel White ended the year with 481 and 2 on 30 catches and Cedric Tillman closed his season with 417 and 3 on 37 receptions.
With two of those players (Hyatt, Tillman) not returning to Tennessee in favor of the NFL Draft, Thornton will certainly have an open opportunity to impress.
Check out some of Thornton’s highlights from the past two seasons in the various YouTube videos below. To help keep track of some of the videos – during his freshman year, Thornton wore No. 10 on the field. During his sophomore year, Thornton switched it up to the No. 2 jersey number.