Special Note: Today is Memorial Day. We should all remember those who have sacrificed for our country so that simple things like this blog can exist. In the spirit of the holiday, take a look at the WVU band's tribute to our Armed Forces.
Now, on with the Countdown!
Hometown: Scottdale, PA
Record: 28-19, Bowl Record: 0-3
Thornton is one of the greatest defensive linemen in WVU history. As a three year starter at defensive tackle, Thornton registered 162 tackles and 15 sacks. Thornton’s stellar play earned him All-Big East selections in 1997 and 1998 as well as All-American honors in 1998. Following his outstanding senior campaign, Thornton was drafted in the second round of the 1999 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. He would go on to play 10 seasons in the NFL for the Titans and Bengals, winning an AFC championship in his rookie campaign.
Memorable Game: Following a disappointing loss in the 1998 season opener to #1 Ohio State, the Mountaineers were looking for a bounce back game at home against Maryland. The Mountaineers offense seemingly scored at will, while Thornton and the defense held Maryland’s offense to only 262 yards of offense. Thornton registered 7 tackles (3 tackles for loss) in #19 WVU’s 42-20 victory over the Terps.
Competition: There was not a ton of competition for 96 outside of Keilen Dykes. Dykes had an impressive career at WVU, but Thornton’s All-Conference and All-America nods proved to be too much for Dykes to compete with.
Teaser: Tomorrow’s selection at #95 is a player that pairs up church and football (so to speak). No, I am not talking about pairing up church and football the way Tim Tebow does, but more like the way Matthew Lawrence does in the Disney Channel classic film: Angels in the Endzone.