The West Virginia Mountaineers have had a nice little string of success when it comes to signing legacy recruits - most notably the Stills brothers - and it doesn’t look like that trend will be slowing down anytime soon. Indian Hill standout defensive end Jalen Thornton announced his plan to follow in his father’s footsteps and take that country road to Morgantown, West Virginia.
Jalen’s father, of course, is Mountaineer great John Thornton. Thornton played 41 games at West Virginia, between 1995 and 1998, and registered 162 tackles and 15 sacks in his time in Morgantown. John was a two-time All-Big East selection and earned first team All-American honors from The Sports Network. Thornton was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 1999 NFL Draft, where he spent four years before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals. Thornton retired as a Bengal in 2008.
Jalen chose the Mountaineers over offers from Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky and Marshall.
Hometown/High School: Cincinnati, OH (Indian Hill H.S.)
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 242 lbs
Position: Defensive End
247Sports (composite): ★★★; Grade: 0.8516; No. 705 National; No. 48 SDE; No. 31 OH
247Sports: ★★★; Grade: 87; No. 490 National; No. 36 SDE; No. 28 OH
ESPN: Not yet ranked
Rivals: ★★★; Rating: 5.5
Thornton becomes the fourth verbal commitment in the 2019 class, and moves West Virginia from 27th to 19th in the 247Sports rankings, with the 3rd best class in the Big 12 Conference.