Southern Illnois is not known as a hotbed of NFL talent, but Scott Porter sees something special in cornerback Michael Thornton. Check out their recent interview here.

Scott Porter: What type of a person is an NFL team getting in Michael Thornton?

Michael Thornton: They are getting a person with a great attitude. I love the game of football and understand there is one purpose and one goal. Whoever gets me will be getting a guy who gives 100% every single time I step my foot out on the field. I will do whatever they need and ask of me positively in helping my team accomplish the big goal.

Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest strengths?

Michael Thornton: My strengths are my strength, my speed and quickness. I am very fast to read and react to the play. I am very versatile as I can play CB, S and special teams and I can contribute all aspects of the game. I am very willing to do whatever anyone asks of me.

Scott Porter: What are your goals for the NFL?

Michael Thornton: My biggest goal is to be successful. This has always been a dream of mine since I was a child, not only was it a dream of mine but also a dream that I share with my family. It has been a long journey and myself and my family has made several sacrifices to get here. It will be very nice to finish as a pro athlete.

Scott Porter: What player in the NFL reminds you of yourself or is there somebody you model your game after?

Michael Thornton: I look up to Ray Lewis. I love his work ethic and he is so mentally and physically ready for each game. I try to take in a lot from him. Although we play different positions I have learned a lot from watching him. I feel I relate to him well.

Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments?

Michael Thornton: I think among my many accomplishments is when SIU won the Missouri Valley conference championship. It was the first championship in our schools history so it was huge for the program and our team. I achieved a lot of goals I had here at Southern Illinois and I would include all of those.

Scott Porter: Who has been your biggest influence throughout your career?

Michael Thornton: I would say my biggest influences would be god and my family. They have always been there for me. My family has sacrificed so much for me to be in the situation I am today. They have showed me so much love and support. They motivate me.

Scott Porter: What hobbies do you have off the field?

Michael Thornton: I basically hang out with my family. I chill out a lot. I like to give back to my high school. I like swimming and playing basketball. I like hanging out downtown and I travel a lot.

Scott Porter: What do you feel will be the toughest challenge the NFL presents?

Michael Thornton: I think the toughest challenge will be learning an entire new systems and league. You have to learn fast. I think I will do well. I hear you have to really work on mentally preparing yourself and just learn quickly and be mature.

Scott Porter: How did your proday go?

Michael Thornton: My proday went great. There were 10 NFL scouts watching. It was nice to see so much attention. I was able to show them I was healthy after my surgery on December 3rd. I posted very good numbers in bad weather. We were going against 15 MPH wind. I ran a nice 40. I benched 29 reps which from what I understand is a record for amount of reps anyone has ever done at my position. I am very thankful to have this chance and the ability to show NFL scouts what I can do. There is a clip of it on youtube.

Follow NewEraScouting Contributor Scott Porter on Twitter @blitzingdawg3