Thornton Is First Illini Picked in 2013 NFL Draft
By Rob McColley and Jim Meadows
The Indianapolis Colts picked Illini offensive lineman Hugh Thornton Friday night, in the third round of this year's NFL Draft.
The Oberlin, Ohio native was the 86th pick overall, and the first Illini selected in this year's draft.
On a late-night conference call, Thornton said he looks forward to blocking for Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who was the top overall pick in last year's draft.
“He’s just an incredible quarterback", said Thornton of Luck. " It’s going to be a little bit different than my career in Illinois, where we had a lot of scrambling quarterbacks. To play for someone who’s an incredible passer and incredibly smart is going to be awesome. So I’m just excited.”
Thornton was a four-year starter for the University of Illinois, and a 2012 second-team All-Big Ten selection. He played both guard and tackle.
The 21-year-old Thornton said he's not enrolled at Illinois this semester, but hopes to wrap up a degree in sociology over the next two years.
The 2013 NFL draft concludes Saturday with rounds four thorugh seven.