Thornton Looking to Contribute Early

Auburn football commitment Justin Thornton talks about his latest trip to the Plains.

Mobile, Ala.--Justin Thornton's first trip to the Auburn campus as a commitment to Coach Gus Malzahn's football team was a laid back and enjoyable visit for the four-star defensive end.

Thornton was one of around two dozen prospects who attended Auburn's Big Cat Weekend. That happened not long after he announced at his church on May 12th that he will play his college football for the Auburn Tigers.

"Big Cat Weekend was great, it was wonderful and I really enjoyed it," Thornton tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.

"I really liked the water balloon battle we had at the end," he says. "That was my favorite one. I also liked the pie eating contest. The scavenger hunt was fun, too."

The defensive end notes that he hung out with fellow Auburn commitments he knew, including linebacker DeShaun Davis, his teammate at Vigor High, and St. Paul's standouts, offensive lineman Josh Casher and linebacker Tre Williams.

Thornton notes that group of Mobile area players talked to uncommitted prospects about the possibility of joining them as members of the 2014 Auburn football signee class, something that Thornton points out that he feels very good about being a part of several weeks after he made his decision. "I feel comfortable at Auburn," he says.

He notes that the Big Cat Weekend added to his comfort level with Auburn because he enjoyed spending time with the coaches in a casual atmosphere and getting to know them better. He is planning to be back on the Auburn campus to participate in one of the June football camps.

Currently checking in at six-foot-five, 221 pounds, Thornton is expected to be larger than that when he arrives at Auburn next year. He notes that he just turned 17 years old the day before Big Cat Weekend.

As a junior Thornton was credited with 69 tackles with 16 behind the line of scrimmage and 10 being quarterback sacks. That attracted plenty scholarship offers from numerous colleges. He narrowed his list of finalists to LSU, Florida, Southern Cal and Texas A&M before choosing the Tigers.

"I love the family feeling at Auburn," says Thornton, who notes that he also sees a good opportunity at AU, a team whose current depth chart at end features seniors Kenneth Carter and Dee Ford running with the ones and being backed up by seniors Nosa Eguae and Craig Sanders.

"I feel like I can come in and make a big contribution," says Thornton, who adds that his goal is to break into the starting lineup as a freshman.

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