Nov. 13, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ryan Thornton of Chattanooga and Will Snipes of Dalton, Ga., each have signed a National Letter of Intent to enroll at Vanderbilt University and compete for the men's golf team, Head Coach Tom Shaw announced Wednesday.
Both Thornton and Snipes attend high school in the Chattanooga area: Thornton at Baylor School and Snipes at nearby McCallie. The local rivals will be teammates next fall for the Commodores.
"The signing of these two outstanding young men represents the upward direction that our golf program is headed," Shaw said. "They are both nationally ranked players and chose Vanderbilt over several other SEC and ACC programs.
"Both players are explosive, setting several course and tournament records during their high school careers. In addition, Ryan and Will both demonstrate high character and strong academic ability; they are quality student-athletes who will represent Vanderbilt University with class and dignity."
Thornton tied for medalist honors at the 2008 TSSAA Division II State Championship, helping Baylor to its fourth straight state championship in the process. During the fall of his junior season, he led Baylor with a 69.3 scoring average.
In 2005 as a freshman, Thornton's second-place finish at the Palmetto National High School Championship also led Baylor to a team victory. This past summer, he posted two Top 10 finishes in AJGA events. Thornton also tied for 36th in the prestigious Dogwood Invitational.
"Ryan Thornton is our first Tennessee player in quite a while," Shaw added. "Ryan has proven his ability to play at a high level on the national tournament landscape."
Thornton will look to continue the Commodore men's golf team's successful history with recruiting at Baylor School, which produced four-time All-American and 2007 Vanderbilt graduate Luke List.
Snipes tied for third place at the 2008 TSSAA Division II State Championship. The McCallie product would earn medalist honors at the 2008 Baylor School Preview, shooting a school-record 11-under for the two-day event.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press recently lauded Snipes as the area's Player of the Year. An active player on the AJGA circuit, one of his best results came with a Top 10 finish at the 2008 Club Car Junior.
"Will Snipes burst on the scene with a record win at the prestigious Baylor School Preview," Shaw commented. "Since then, he has continued to develop at a rapid rate."
The 2008-09 Vanderbilt men's golf team recently concluded the fall portion of its schedule with a second-place finish at the 2008 Hummingbird Intercollegiate. The Commodores' spring slate begins on Feb. 23, at the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate in Orlando, Fla.