Hugh Thornton brings sad, unique story to Colts

Getty Images

As this year’s rookies make their debuts in T-shirt-and-shorts workouts throughout the NFL, few have stories as compelling as Colts offensive lineman Hugh Thornton.

Thornton, a third-round pick from Illinois, was living in Jamaica nine years ago when his mother and sister were murdered.

I was 12.  It was January 2, 2004. I was sleeping down stairs,” Thornton recently said, via  “My mom and my sister were upstairs.  I heard my aunt scream.  I went to see what had happened and I walked in the room and my mom was tied to the bed and had been murdered and my sister was on the floor.”

“It was an ex-boyfriend of my moms and they had split.  He went back to propose, she said no and the situation was he was kind of living off of my mom — didn’t work a job or anything like that.  So, once all that was taken away when they split, he kind of had resentment and came back with vengeance and the intent to kill.”

Amazingly, the charges against the man eventually were dropped.

“They tried him and it went to trial, but because the way the Jamaica government works, it’s very lenient towards Jamaican nationals in cases against non-Jamaica nationals,” Thornton said. “It’s a little bit corrupt in that sense.”

This weekend, Thornton officially began his NFL journey.

“It was awesome,” Thornton said of his rookie minicamp, in comments distributed by the team.  “I had a lot of fun out there, learned a lot of stuff.  That’s one thing you realize, the change from college to the pros playbook is deep.  There are a lot of things that go into it.  You have a lot of checks.  It’s been interesting.  It’s been fun.  I’m excited to meet the veterans and go from there.”

Thornton, a versatile player in college, is expected to play right guard for the Colts.

“If you start moving those guys around, you aren’t going to see the process if you move them from right to left,” coach Chuck Pagano said.  “I know he’s played a bunch of spots and can play outside, but we are going to let him settle in there and get comfortable, learn everything and then go from there.  He had a good camp, did a nice job.”

We hope he continues to do a nice job, and more, for the Colts.