03/18/2019 9:00 PM
The Columbus Lions organization has come to terms with defensive back Tyler Thornton for the 2019 NAL season. Thornton steps into a Lions defense that has the potential to become the best defense in all of Arena football. Thornton comes to Columbus as a rookie to Arena football, but no rookie to professional football as he comes to the Lions fresh off of a stint from the San Diego Fleet of the fledgling Alliance of American Football.
Tyler Thornton (5'8, 180 - Azusa Pacific) enters the NAL after an accolade filled career at Azusa Pacific University, in which Thornton helped the Cougars transition to NCAA Division II. However, Thornton was not just any regular player on the roster, as he finished his dominant career with 291 tackles, 9 tackles-for-loss, 13 interceptions, 14 pass deflections, and 7 forced fumbles. By the end of his career, he was named to the GNAC All-Conference team 3 separate times - including making the 1st team in both his junior and senior years. The accolades just continue from there as Thornton was named both the GNAC and NCCAA defensive player of the year following his junior season, and was also named a Division II All-American that same year. Thornton's career culminated with becoming a finalist to win the Cliff Harris Award, which selects the best defensive player in all of college football. In addition to these accolades - and perhaps most importantly - Thornton helped pave the way for the Cougars to win two conference championships during his tenure, something that should help indoctrinate him into the Lions championship culture very early.
Thornton parlayed this success into spending a year with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL, and then the aforementioned San Diego Fleet. Thornton looks to take his elite athleticism, combined with his previous professional experience, and become a difference maker in the 2019 NAL season for the Lions.
With training camp right around the corner, be sure to stay locked in to the Lions website to pick up important roster information! Be sure to secure your tickets to the Lions 2019 NAL home opener on April 19th versus longtime rival, the Jacksonville Sharks!