During the seven-on-seven tournament, Thorpe, a 5-foot-11, 166-pounder, played both wide receiver and free safety for Jordan (N.C.) Durham. His play drew the attention of UNC's coaching staff, but also earned him the tournament's MVP award.
"It's an honor to get an award like that," Thorpe said. "I think it says a lot of what they saw in me as a talent."
In mid-June, Thorpe attended UNC's two-day individual camp. During one of the one-on-one passing drills, he was pulled aside by Charlie Williams, UNC's wide receiver coach.
"He liked my hands, a lot, and he liked how I ran routes," Thorpe said.
"He did talk to me after [the camp] and told me that he would be talking to me again and sometime after September 1, he would be sending me some stuff."
Thorpe has also camped at Duke, NC State, and Wake Forest. At the Blue Devils' camp, he received his first verbal scholarship offer.
Although his Signing Day is roughly a year and a half away, Thorpe has begun to establish favorites.
"Some schools have stuck out to me more than others," Thorpe said. "But I don't want to say them, right now. Judging from the camps I've been to – being around the coaches – I can say that some schools have definitely pushed out in front of others, but that could change with more visits."
Thorpe is willing to play his college ball anywhere, but he hopes to stay close to home.
"I'm trying to stay within a reasonable distance from home," Thorpe said. "I really want to stay on the east coast."
Due to his versatility, Thorpe will likely receive the "athlete" label. According to Thorpe, UNC is recruiting him as an "offensive weapon" that will line up mostly at receiver.
"I can hit and play defense, but I'm more of a touchdown scorer," Thorpe said. "I like to score touchdowns, I like to have the ball in my hands in close games, [and] I like to move around and make plays."
Last fall, Thorpe played a "Percy Harvin-type role" for Jordan. He registered 474 yards and five touchdowns on 28 receptions and 135 yards and a score on 17 rushes. He also returned three punts and one kick-off for touchdowns.
The last two seasons, Thorpe had the luxury of playing with two Division I-A players – UNC signee J.R. Rhodes and East Carolina signee Torrance Hunt. Starting this fall, Thorpe will be the focal point of opponents.
"My thoughts are to basically just do what I've been doing pretty much since I was four years old," Thorpe said. "I anticipated it. It's already been happening against some of our [conference opponents] – a lot of teams are starting to double up on me and keep an eye on where I'm at on the field."