Class of 2019 defensive back Ray Thornton made his way back to Clemson for the All In Cookout on Friday night.
The Phenix City (Ala.) Central standout has been on campus several times, but the cookout marked his first visit as a Tigers commitment.
“It was great,” said Thornton, who committed in late June. “I had fun with the coaches and players.”
What was the highlight for Thornton?
“Everyone coming together for the activities,” he said, referring to the dodgeball tournament, wiffle ball home run derby and trivia contest the cookout featured.
Most of his fellow commits were also present for the cookout, which helped the 2019 class come closer together according to Thornton.
“It was nice,” he said. “I met all the other commits and hung out with them.”
“Our bond has gotten closer,” he added.
Thornton, who stayed on campus until Monday, was also able to spend time with his former teammate at Central High School — and future teammate — Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross.
“I hung out with him for the rest of the weekend,” Thornton said.
Thornton was accompanied on the visit by his mother, father and two cousins. They had visited Clemson before the cookout, though this visit allowed for more personal interaction with the coaches and players.
“They loved it,” he said.
After competing at the Dabo Swinney Camp, Thornton (6-2, 200) received an offer from Clemson on June 21. He committed to play for the Tigers a day later, choosing them over offers from Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech and others.
Clemson’s coaching staff is looking forward to getting Thornton on campus full time when he enrolls early this January.
“They were excited about me coming,” he said. “They also told me about how I could fit in the system.”
Clemson views him as a versatile defensive back that could see action at a number of positions including safety, nickelback, dimeback, “cheetah” and even some cornerback.
Thornton, who was a running back at one time, tallied 57 tackles and two interceptions last season while helping Central to the Class 7A state semifinals.
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