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.