KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Transferring to Tennessee meant Baltimore native Dont’e Thornton was a lot closer to his family, but it also meant finding the family he wanted inside of a football program was close as well.

“We have a great relationship like the receiving room we are a tight knit brotherhood that we got in there, of course with Coach Pope and Coach Cook they have everything set for us so that we always do everything together so I’d definitely say we have a great bond in there,” said Thornton.

The value Thornton places on family was a perfect piece to fit Tennessee’s puzzle.

“I think that’s a huge reason of why we got the kid, I really do, I think in recruiting you find things that kids are, that are important to them, and I think you have to sell those points,” said wide receivers coach Kelsey Pope, “One of the reasons we got him is our relatability, that’s coaches and the players, like he came here and he fit right in with the players and to me that’s a seamless transition because when you’re working hard at a common goal, when that environment is comfortable for you to work hard in, like it’s easier for me to give it everything I got. When I’m worried about who’s around me or I’m uncomfortable with the people around me, it’s gonna be that much harder for me to really strain so Dont’e’s come in and he’s like gelled and he’s been a glue guy for our group”

Pope pointed to the junior housing a mix of Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman on the field.