Alabama DE drawing major attention

Justin Thornton is a junior defensive that has picked up some big offers already. He talks about those, his recent visit to Alabama, who he favored growing up, and more right here.

"The offers I know about are from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida State, South Carolina, and South Alabama," Justin Thornton told Scout. "I am hearing a lot from Florida, Georgia, and Texas A&M too, but they have not offered yet."

Many more offers are expected to come in for this 6-foot-5, 224 pound defensive end out of Prichard (Ala.) Vigor in the coming months.

He recently was invited to Tuscaloosa for a Junior Day and he took the Tide up on the offer.

"Alabama offered me early in January, so I knew about the offer, so I wanted to go up and check them out.

"I liked the environment up there and I liked being around the coaches too. Talking to Coach [Nick] Saban was great too. He told me to keep on my grades and take care of my academics because they really want me."

Many top in-state prospects grew up a fan of Alabama or Auburn, but that was not the case for Thornton.

He grew up a fan of the Florida Gators.

"Since I was six, I have been watching Florida. They were the first team I remember seeing when I started to watch football, so they just stuck with me. I hope to get an offer from them."

The Gators were his childhood favorite, but Alabama now has his attention too.

"I did not really like Alabama growing up, but I have more interest in them now after visiting them. They always have a good team, they put players in the NFL, they have great fans, and I do like them more now."

The recruiting process is just getting rolling for the junior end and although he had a childhood favorite and the Crimson Tide made an impression on him recently, he has another leader.

"Florida State is probably on top for me right now," he said. "I am leaning towards leaving Alabama right now because I want to see somewhere different. Florida State has offered me, so they lead right now, but I am still looking at a lot of different schools."

Thornton had 69 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks as a junior.

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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