Patience pays off for Thornton

Patience pays off for Thornton

For some it's honor among thieves when it comes to summing up the recruiting game. Then you read a story about a school being truthful, up-front and then it working out the way it was all said that it could. Then you read about who it happened to and you can't help but be happy for the recruit.

Merely days ago, Big Red Report brought you the latest on Justin Thornton. It seemed like a two horse race between Missouri and Kansas with the possibility that Nebraska could slip in there with an offer. There was also a chance that Northwestern could move in there after an official.

The patience paid off for Thornton this week who finally got the offer that he seemed to be waiting for. An offer that immediately received considerations on the leader board and for an official visit.

"Yep, I got the Nebraska offer. I got the offer over the phone from Coach Scott Downing," Thornton said. "This makes me have to take Nebraska into account."

The question is now where do they play Thornton? He has excelled at really every position that he played this past season and it seems like Nebraska realizes that too. The reason? They have basically spoke to him about being recruited as three different "titles".

"They talked about bringing me in as an athlete and then playing me at safety and putting on about 20 pounds. Today Coach Downing talked to me about possibly playing wide receiver. I don't have a preference. They spoke to me a little bit about returning kicks and that is something that I would be interested in doing too."

"As a receiver I had 46 cataches for 896 yards and 15 touchdowns. On defense I played cornerback and I had four interceptions and I ran three of them back for touchdowns. I had a kick off and a punt return that I return for touchdowns."

While averaging nearly 30 yards per catch and nearly a touchdown one out of every three receptions got him his top honor this season. However, he did not go unnoticed for his play on the defensive side of the ball either. "I made first team all-state as a receiver. I was selected all-conference and all-district for offense and defense."

"I've taken two visits so far. I am going to Northwestern this weekend (1/7). The weekend after that I think that I am going to go up to Nebraska (1/14). I have been to Kansas and Missouri before. I don't have anyone set up for the fifth visit. I have offers from all of those schools and no favorites."

Thornton is really looking for a feeling and realizes that there is a lot more than just agreeing to play football at a particular school when he signs the letter of intent. There is the family aspect of the team and coaching staff and the town and how he will feel there for the next four to five years.

"I don't know, really how I feel around the players, the new city and the coaches. While I am in college they are going to be my family while I am up there for four or five years. I have to take that into consideration."

Through the process recruits usually make connections with particular coaches at a school. For Thornton that didn't really stand out to one school or coach. However, the fact that all of the school and coaches were as honest as they could be did.

"No not really. I asked everyone to be honest with me, to be straight and how they are in the recruiting process and that is exactly what Nebraska did with me. I waited and stuck it out a little bit and came out with an offer."

Beyond the feeling and evaluating schools, Thornton will look at the best opportunity for him as a player, student and person. He hopes that he can get that sorted out over the remaining official visits. "I really don't know where the best opportunity is for me. I expect to make a decision shortly after my last visit. I'm going to take all of my visits and then come home and think about it. Then I will make my decision."

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