LSU Tigers lean and top Texas A&M Aggies target Justin Thornton is clearly one of the top five weak-side defensive end recruits in the 2014 class, and the four-star prospect is headed to check out another SEC program today on an unofficial visit. The Auburn Tigers will be hosting Thornton, who is the 63rd-ranked prospect in our FanSided 150 rankings.
Thornton also has offers from the rival Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida Gators, Baylor Bears, Georgia Bulldogs, Mississippi Rebels, USC Trojans, Vanderbilt Commodores, Florida State Seminoles, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Nebraska Cornhuskers, North Carolina State Wolfpack, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and the now-eliminated Kentucky Wildcats.
The 6’5″, 222 pound star from Mobile, Alabama certainly has plenty of huge offers to choose from, and it is telling that LSU is in such a great position early on. Texas A&M is the biggest threat to LSU’s chances of landing a pledge from the top 100 recruit, and it will be interesting to see if an in-state power like Auburn can change things.
There is little doubt that Justin Thornton is one of the best five prospects in the state of Alabama, which makes this visit huge for Auburn. Thornton recently named his final five of LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, and Auburn in that order, so Auburn has to work its way up the ladder over some top-flight SEC programs. But it is telling that Auburn made Thornton’s top five and not Alabama. Thornton has excellent length and athleticism, and he is one of the best pass rushers in the class after recording 62 tackles and seven sacks last season as a star for Vigor High.