Kaleb Thornhill tells the Spartan Dawgs to “go to your grave empty”


“My dad and brother taught me all about hard work and work ethic and doing the right things on and off the football field in order to be successful,” Kaleb Thornhilltells Spartan Dawgs Andre Hutson, Todd “T.J.” Duckett, and Tim Bograkos.

Thornhill recalls one of his most memorable moments as a Spartan football player; it’s a 4th and goal play against fourth-ranked Wisconsin in 2004.

“I saw a gap open up wide, and I shot through it to make the tackle in the backfield,” he says. “I’m a redshirt freshman, and it was great to have all these seniors looking at me knowing I stepped up and helped the team.

“Executing when your time comes is what it’s all about.”

Thornhill’s passion now is helping under-resourced kids via the 4th & 1 Football Camp.

4th and 1 is a free football camp for high school students that balances sports training with SAT/ACT prep and diagnostics, professional development, creative workshops, and life skills classes.

The mission is to propel student-athletes through high school and college by providing them with individualized athletic, academic, and professional skills development.

Thornhill’s day job involves helping NFL players facing similar issues as they transition to professional football. He’s director of player development for the Miami Dolphins.

“The two main problems facing incoming NFL players are relationships in their lives and learning to deal with the financial issues involved in all of a sudden earning so much money,” Thornhill says.

“I’m able to give these players access to information that can really save their lives long term,” Thornhill says. “I want to give them the tools to be successful men, fathers, and husbands – that’s my passion – and it’s my job to get these guys excited about the opportunities in their lives.”

“Where is the greatest amount of wealth in this world?” Thornhill asks his fellow Dawgs in closing. “It’s in the cemetery because most people are buried without reaching their full potential.

“Potential becomes a bad word after awhile. Once you’re given information, you have to take advantage of it and turn that potential into reality. I want everyone to go to their grave empty.”


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