Thornton Ready for Florida Junior Day

The way that Florida wants to continually get after the passer, it is imperative that the Gators have pass rushers available on defense. Insert Justin Thornton, a 6-4, 230 pound BUCK type player in the mold of what Will Muschamp and company are looking for to harass quarterbacks.

Justin Thornton will be on the road this weekend and visiting the Florida Gators for the first Junior Day of the year for the 2014 class.

"I am coming this Saturday with my mom," Thornton said by phone Monday night. "I just want to see the academic program and what kind of environment. I want to see the stadium, because it's my first time in Gainesville."

Muschamp and company have been impressed with the pass rusher, enough to offer him a scholarship to play at Florida. They also want him to be sure he makes the right choice when he does, because Muschamp is one of those coaches that doesn't care for commitments to be shopping around and looking elsewhere.

"I talked to Coach Muschamp and he said they really like my game film," he said. "They told me to take my time and don't make a commitment yet until you are done seeing the schools. Don't just make a commitment and then have to de-commit. He really wants me up there."

"It is an honor to have an offer from Florida," he said. "I also was a Florida State fan and got an offer from there too. I haven't made a commitment yet, and am planning on taking my time with it.

"Even though I like Florida and it has been my school since I was little, I just want to go there and get to the know the school and coaches and get comfortable with the environment."

Thornton is from Prichard, AL Vigor High School and the in-state school is also on him. He says it is okay and he understands they will be, but he is really trying to look elsewhere to attend college.

"I just stay humble," he said. "I talk to Alabama, but really haven't talked to Auburn. I have been looking forward to going out of state. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Alabama, I just want to get out of state to a place like Florida."

FOX Sports NEXT national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons has seen limited film on Thornton so far as he didn't start his sophomore year. Still, Simmons saw enough to be impressed with his pass rushing skills.

"He's a long and lean rush end, more of a weak side defensive end type," Simmons said. "He is rangy with a good first step off the ball and has to get stronger at the point of attack. He has a lot of raw ability and has long arms to keep offensive linemen off of his body. I think he could push top five in the state of Alabama after we see more film on him."

Thornton says he plans on being in Gainesville early in the morning on Saturday and then will likely stay the night. Stay tuned to FightinGators.com as we follow up his visit to Florida from the weekend.


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