His long path is over, and it ended today when he faxed in his Letter of Intent to North Carolina.
"It just feels great to have it all done, to have it all completed and ready to go," Thornton said. "The overall atmosphere at Carolina was something that I was very comfortable with, and with the staff there I knew it would be a good place to continue to work hard both on the field and in the classroom."
Thornton has considered enrolling at Chapel Hill in the summer, and finds that option attractive.
"I've thought about it, trying to get there early and get started with classes and workouts, and that is something I think I'd like to do but I'm not certain," he said of the prospect of an early arrival on campus.
Now fully qualified, Thornton is going to take the remaining time that he has at Blair Academy and focus upon preparing for the transition to the college level.
"Everyone tells me that the speed of the game is the hardest thing to get used to, so I'm just going to work on my body and on my speed to try to get ready for that," said Thornton.
Today, though, is a day for celebration.
"I'm just so excited and it is such a great thing to have this work out like it has," he said. "I can't wait to be a Tar Heel."