Rumor just became reality.
After months of speculation, junior-to-be Payton Thorne officially has transferred from Metea Valley to Naperville Central.
According to Naperville Central football coach Mike Stine, last week Thorne was cleared by Naperville District 203 and the IHSA to begin participating in Redhawks athletics. The quarterback, whose family moved within Naperville Central's boundaries, began lifting and running with his new teammates last Monday, Stine said.
Thorne is the son of North Central College football coach Jeff Thorne and the grandson of retired North Central College and Wheaton Warrenville South hall-of-fame coach John Thorne.
"The kids all know each other around here, so he fit in right away with everyone," Stine said.
Playing for Metea Valley last fall, Thorne was the lone sophomore selected to the 45-member all-DuPage Valley Conference football team. If he also plays basketball and baseball, he'll be an impact player in all three sports for the Redhawks.
Stine said Tommy Carlsen, a receiver as a junior last fall, was slated to be the Redhawks' quarterback this season but he'll now be able to stay at receiver and possibly play defensive back. Jack Jopes, last season's sophomore team quarterback, also is primed to move to receiver and defensive back.
With all-DVC running back A.J. Deinhart and returning receiver Tommy Coyne back in the mix, Thorne's addition will make the Redhawks' offense pretty potent.
Stine said the team will lift and run for another week in its summer program before breaking out the footballs. That's when everyone will get their first look at Naperville Central's new quarterback.
"Obviously when you bring in a player of that caliber you have a shot to be pretty good," Stine said.
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