Few players have grown in their time with the Illinois Fighting Illini as much as Hugh Thornton has.
Thornton played only seven games as a frehsman, but would play the rest of the games in his time at Illinois (42 games). He was a second team All-Big-Ten selection by the coaches, and an honorable mention by the media. Hugh helped the team have the best rushing attack in the Big Ten and set school records for points in a season and points per game in 2010.
Despite the mistakes he made in the past, such as being arrested for underage consumption and trying to use a fake ID, Thornton has really turned it all around and has become one of the better offensive linemen for the Fighting Illini.
Thornton has a lot of upper body strength, as well as very good grip, as he is able to really latch onto the guys on the other side of the line. His height, 6’3″, are a big plus on the line, as that will help him to reach out to block for his runners.
The height, however, does not make up for his limited lateral movement. Thornton is not as stellar as you would like to see in a lineman for outside runs and screen passes. Although, he could, with a little polishing, really pan out as a solid lineman for an up and coming team with a veteran to teach him some things.
Hugh Thornton could easily be picked by a team with a good line, that may be looking for cheap backups. I could see him going to the San Francisco 49ers or the Seattle Seahawks in a late round. I expect Hugh to be drafted on the third day of the NFL Draft.
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