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February 22, 2013
Junior defensive end Justin Thornton (Prichard, Ala./Vigor) is one of the top defensive line prospects in the country and has the offers to prove it.
South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, and Southern Cal are just some of his offers.
He does have an early top four.
"Florida, Florida State, Southern Cal, and Auburn," Thornton listed in order to GamecockCentral.com. "Florida is my leader because of their academic program and they have a good coaching staff. I've been able to talk with their whole defensive coaching staff and I like them. They treat me like family. It is a good environment and I'm comfortable there. I've been a big fan of Florida since I was a little boy and it was an honor to get that offer."
Where do the Gamecocks stand?
"I haven't had a chance to visit them yet but I know they could be in my top five," Thornton said. "I want to go up there and see what it is like. I was to get around the coaches and talk with them more. My friend Deshaun Davis was up there recently and he told me that he had a great time. I want to see what it is like for me."
Thornton said that a visit to South Carolina will probably happen at some point next month.
"I know they have a great program up there," Thornton said. "They have (Jadeveon) Clowney and he is a big part of the team from the defensive line position. He is going to be a top pick in the draft next year. I want to get up there for a visit and check it out myself."
South Carolina linebacker coach Kirk Botkin is recruiting Thornton for the Gamecocks.
"He is a real cool dude," Thornton said. "He wants me up there and play defensive end. He has talked to me about how they would use me on the defensive line. He told me to take my time and make sure I'm comfortable with my decision."
The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has visited Florida, Florida State, and Alabama recently. He will be visiting Auburn this weekend. He said that he plans on making a decision before his senior season starts.
If you have any questions about this feature or wish to discuss it, please visit The Insiders Forum, Gamecock Central's members-only message board for Gamecock fans.