2014 (Redshirt Junior): Played in all 12 games making 11 starts along the offensive line, missing the start against Wofford but played in the win over the Terriers … Named first team All-Southern Conference on offense by the voting media … Named to the 2014-15 Southern Conference Honor Roll.
2013 (Redshirt Sophomore): Started all 11 of the games in which he saw action at offensive center, missing the home overtime win over Elon due to injury ... Battled through both a wrist and knee injuries that limited some playing time ... Credited with one tackle assist at Chattanooga ... Named to the 2013 Fall Academic All-SoCon team ... Named to the 2013-14 Southern Conference Honor Roll ... Was limited during spring drills and did not play in WCU's annual Spring Game.
2012 (Redshirt Freshman): Sat out due to NCAA transfer rules.
Prior to Western Carolina: Enrolled at Carson-Newman for the 2011-12 academic year and was a member of the football team but did not see game action; High School: Named first team All-Region in 2010 ... Received the Wendy's Heisman Trophy from Stephens County ... Helped lead SCHS to region championships in 2007 and 2008 ... Also played baseball as a prep.
Personal: Full name is Jake Robert Thornton ... Is the son of Robert and Cathy Thornton ... Has one sister, Mollie ... His grandfather, Billy Shaw, played for the Buffalo Bills from 1960-69 and was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1999.