Jalen Thornton Commits To West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The fourth commitment for the West Virginia’s football recruiting class of 2019 comes to the Mountaineers with a familiar name.
— Jalen Thornton 🚩 (@JalenThornton52) February 2, 2018
A 6-foot-2, 242-pound junior at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jalen knew plenty about WVU prior to his trip to Morgantown last Saturday. His father, John Thornton, was a star defensive lineman for West Virginia from 1995-98, and then went on to a 10-year NFL career. Originally a second-round draft choice of the Tennessee Titans in 1999, John spent the first four years of his NFL career with Tennessee before moving over to the Cincinnati Bengals, where he finished out his final six years as a pro player. John remained in Cincinnati after his playing days were over, where he and his wife Allison have raised a family of three sons. Allison, who grew up in New Martinsville, W.Va., is also a WVU alum. John is now an agent for NFL players and coaches, working with Roc Nation Sports.
With so many roots at in the Mountain state, it wasn’t a surprise that Jalen picked WVU, though he did have plenty of other options, including offers from Kentucky, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Marshall and Toledo.
A two-way lineman for Indian Hill, Thornton was a first-team all-conference and first-team all-Southeast Ohio selection this past season. He is expected to be a defensive lineman for the Mountaineers. He had 91 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery as a junior, earning third-team all-state mention in the process. He helped the Braves to a 9-3 record and a spot in regional semifinal round of the Ohio Division IV playoffs.
“West Virginia really has great facilities, a great community and a great fan base,” Thornton told BlueGoldNews.com. “My family and I have always watched West Virginia since I was little. I think about my dad’s time there a lot, but he always tells me that I can do whatever or go wherever, as long as I’m willing to put in the work.”
Ultimately that choice led Jalen back to West Virginia.