The Brothers Thornhill

Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio has made connecting to the football program's history a priority. Indirectly, the past connected with the present when Kaleb Thornhill became the third member of his family to become a captain of the Michigan State football program late in August.

EAST LANSING – Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio has made connecting to the football program's history a priority. Indirectly, the past connected with the present when Kaleb Thornhill became the third member of his family to become a captain of the Michigan State football program late in August.

But for the Bowling Green game this Saturday, the past and present will be linked a little more directly as Josh Thornhill, Kaleb's brother and a former Green & White captain in the nineties, will join his kid brother and the rest of the Spartans as an honorary captain.

"I like to bring people in initially that our players can relate to. Josh is not too far removed from the program, and he'll do an outstanding job," Dantonio said.

Dantonio said what helped him decide on Josh was repeated trips through the Duffy Daugherty Football Building.

"We talked about all the pictures that seem to be up in Duffy, the Florida game, the Michigan game in '99 or the Ohio State game in '98, or just the Notre Dame game. He always seemed to be around the ball, making a play, and he was on outstanding leader for us," Dantonio said.

While the pressure that comes with his family legacy may be challenging at times, Kaleb says he relishes it and is excited to have his brother at his side.

"It put a smile on my face," Kaleb said. "(Josh) being able to walk out with me will be a nice experience, another memory that I'll put on the top of my list."

The Thornhill patriarch, Charlie, who was a Spartan captain himself in the sixties, would appreciate Dantonio's gesture to his older son, Kaleb says. Although his father died late last year, Kaleb says he knows his father is still with them in spirit and would enjoy the sight of his two sons at the center of Spartan Stadium this Saturday.

"He's smiling too," Kaleb said.

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