"They were great and showed me around on Friday night. I really liked how much of a family atmosphere there is at Duke. I mean the seniors hang out with the freshmen, and there are no cliques. It's one unit and one team."
After spending the night on Friday, Thornton woke early and was given a tour of the football facilities and then the campus. Both events solidified his commitment.
"I saw their meeting rooms, the strength room, the weight room, and all the other football factilities. Then we went and toured the campus. It is really beautiful and after that I knew…It was going to be Duke."
After the various tours he had a chance to meet with the coaching staff and talk things out, and to offer his commitment in person to Coach Roof.
"He was happy, and we talked about my role. I'm going to go in and compete for a position. He said that the best three linebackers are going to be given the starting spots. If I, as a freshman, am one of the best three then I'm going to get one of those spots. I may redshirt, but they hope I can come in and battle."
So, if Thornton had to quickly think of what he wants to help the Blue Devils accomplish over the next few years?
"I think the goal is to help the team improve and just get better. We want to win some ball games and then go to a bowl. Any bowl. After that we want to keep improving and then go to more prestigious bowl games. Then, who knows, maybe compete for an ACC title."