Defensive End Likes Auburn's Recruiting Class

Defensive end prospect Justin Thornton talks about his official visit and getting ready to make the transition to college football.

Mobile, Ala.--Justin Thornton, a long-time Auburn verbal football commitment, used his official visit weekend as an opportunity to get to know his future teammates better and did a little recruiting on the side.

"It was great," he told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I got to bond with everybody so it was a lot of fun. I got to know the guys better who are going to Auburn and the same for the ones who aren't committed."

Thornton notes that Auburn's commitments who have been on board since early in the recruiting process have developed friendships and said, "That is a great thing. Coming to a college where you already know the players is something that builds team chemistry."

A four-star defensive end prospect at Vigor High School, Thornton made his decision to play for the Tigers and defensive line coach Rodney Garner back in May. He carefully watched Auburn's defensive front develop during the 2013 season and was impressed with what they did as the Tigers made a run to a 12-2 record while winning the SEC Championship.

"The defensive line improved greatly," he said. "Coach Garner does a great job of rotating the defensive linemen in and out."

Thornton has high hopes of being a part of that playing rotation this fall. He is trying to add size and muscle to make sure that happens.

"I am still growing," the defensive end points out. "I have gained about 20 pounds. I weigh 230 now and I am 6-5 1/2. I am trying to get to 250 before I come to Auburn and build that up as I work out."

Justin Thornton is shown at practice for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.

On his official visit Thornton spent time talking to another highly-regarded prospect. "Hopefully, we will get the offensive guard, the real big guy (Braden Smith) who was there for the weekend," he said. "Rashaan Evans is supposed to come next weekend. Hopefully, we will get him. I feel pretty good about this. We will have to see what happens."

All things considered Thornton said he really enjoyed his weekend on the Plains. "We had a lot of fun. I wish I could do it again. The main thing was having fun and building relationships with the other recruits."

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