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Slimmed Down Hugh Thornton Prepping For Right Guard Competition

Intro: Entering his fourth NFL season and a contract year, Hugh Thornton has a new look to him with extra competition coming into the offensive line room.


INDIANAPOLIS – One player in particular has you doing a double take when walking into the Colts' locker room this offseason.

Wait, who is that?

That's the initial thought when seeing fourth-year offensive guard Hugh Thornton.

The hair has been trimmed to a buzz, but the physique is what will have the greatest impact on Thornton's NFL future.

Thornton, a guy has previously been listed at 336 and 324 pounds with the Colts, dropped all the way down to the 300-pound mark earlier this offseason. He says he's around 315 pounds now.

"This is probably the best I've felt in a long time," Thornton says. "Going back to college, high school, probably just the most well-rounded---physically, mentally, spiritually. I'm just in a great place and I'm excited to see how this transformation is going to take place on the field."

In dropping the weight, Thornton decided earlier this offseason such a change was necessary.

"Slim and trim," is how Thornton describes his new look in 2016.

"My lean weight has actually gone up so my weight is not an issue. The mass is there. It's just trimming."

The 2016 season is a vital one for Thornton.

He's playing in the final season of his rookie contract with intense competition now entering the offensive line room.

Jim Irsay calls Thornton, the team's 2013 third-round pick, the 'X-factor' of this year's offensive line group.

Thornton, a natural guard, has been the Colts' starter at right guard each of the past two seasons.

Now, depending on what happens at right tackle, Thornton is going to be pushed for playing time from the likes of Denzelle Good/Joe Reitz and maybe even Jonotthan Harrison sliding over to guard. Rookies Le'Raven Clark and Austin Blythe also played guard in college.

In Thornton's first three seasons, various injuries have limited him to starting two-thirds of the time (32 starts in three years).

A new look has put less stress on Thornton's joints, something he hopes sets up for a successful 2016.

"The power is still there. The strength is still there. The endurance is still there," Thornton says of the shredded weight. "I'm just lighter on my feet. I'm able to move around, block more, move my feet quicker and I think it will help with longevity."

Highlights from Hugh's 2015 photo shoot in the #ColtsPhotoGarage.

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