IMO, Heupel is seeing something more than just that. Not sure what it is but he's consistently getting production from guys who weren't all that productive elsewhere.
Payton, Hyatt, and now Thornton all have a similar quality in how they can get up on a DB quickly and then turn on their real speed.
Thornton probably also runs "only" 4.4, but then will beat many of these 4.3 guys in a 100 meter.
- or a long bomb from Milton.
But as far the choice routes go, we operate under those concepts quite a bit during the game, and when you have guys with long speed it's hard for any DB to change direction and then run with them, on a route changed on the fly.
And then you already mentioned guys like Velus who were great after the catch, so just throw it quickly to him in our super spread out field.
Heupel knows exactly how to maximize a variety of WR skillset.
I absolutely think he went after Thornton because of his long speed, and athleticsim.
It brings a whole other dimension to his offense, that he's NOW accustomed to using.
He didnt have deep threats like Payton and Hyatt at UCF or Mizzou