Bruce Thornton (cornerback)

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Bruce Thornton
No. 25, 26
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1980-01-31) January 31, 1980 (age 38)
LaGrange, Georgia
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school: LaGrange (GA)
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 4 / Pick: 121
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 13
Games started: 11
Tackles: 41
Interceptions: 2
Return yards: 43
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Bruce Thornton (born January 31, 1980 in LaGrange, Georgia) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at the University of Georgia.

Early years[edit]

Thornton attended LaGrange High School, where he was a three-year starter at running back. As a senior, he earned Super Prep All-America honors after finishing with 1,920 rushing yards, 28 touchdowns, 932 return yards and 12 blocked kicks. In his high school career, he totalled 4,541 rushing yards on 560 carries.

He accepted a football scholarship from the University of Georgia. He redshirted his freshman year after breaking his thumb. The following season, he only started one game at tailback, registering 230 yards, 47 carries, 3 touchdowns (2 were against New Mexico State University), while averaging 18.4 yards per kickoff return.

As a sophomore, he was converted into a cornerback by Willie Martinez, Georgia's secondary coach and defensive coordinator, posting 9 starts, 32 tackles and 7 passes defensed.

The next year, he returned a blocked punt 12 yards for a touchdown against Northwestern Louisiana State University. He also returned an interception 71 yards (second longest in school history) for a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl against Florida State University.

As a senior, he was named a team captain and was the Bulldogs' best cornerback, starting 13 games and often facing the opponents' best wide receivers.[1] He posted 54 tackles (seventh on the team), 3 tackles for loss, 8 passes defensed and 2 interceptions.

He collected 129 tackles, 4 interceptions and 21 passes defensed in his collegiate career.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Thornton was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round (121st overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He only played one game in 2004, in which he returned two kickoffs for 43 yards, before tearing his ACL and being placed on the injured reserve list.[2] He was waived on September 8, 2005.[3]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

The San Francisco 49ers signed him to their practice squad on September 14, 2005.[4] Injuries forced the 49ers to promote him to the active roster on September 30 and eventually named him the starter at left cornerback. In his first start he was matched against All-Pro Marvin Harrison and was able to limit him to 2 receptions for 17 yards, receiving honorable mention NFL defensive player of the week. He finished with 11 starts, 32 tackles, 2 interceptions and 8 passes defensed.

On August 1, 2006, he was released after struggles in his play caused him to drop in the depth chart.[5]

New York Jets[edit]

On August 4, 2006, he signed as a free agent with the New York Jets and was waived 8 days later.

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

On May 9, 2007, he was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and was released on September 1.[6]

Montreal Alouettes (CFL)[edit]

Thornton joined the Montreal Alouettes practice squad late in 2007, but did not make the team the following year.[7]


  1. ^ Lynch, Kevin (2005-11-13). "Thornton corners a job with 49ers". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  2. ^ "Giants Match 2004 Win Total". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (2006-08-01). "Niners release former starting CB Thornton". Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Jags sign CB Thornton". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 

External links[edit]