Justin Thornton, one of the top weakside defensive ends in the Class of 2014 and a longtime Auburn commit, made his pledge to the Tigers official on Wednesday, National Signing Day. Thornton faxed in his National Letter of Intent, making him a member of Gus Malzahn's program.
Thornton, out of Vigor (Ala.) High School, is rated as a four-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, and listed as the 121st-best player in the current recruiting cycle. He's ranked No. 6 among all weakside defensive ends and No. 6 among players from the state of Alabama. He committed to Auburn on May 12, 2013, and has remained firm to the Tigers since.
Thornton stands 6'5 and weighs in at 222 pounds. He runs a reported 4.8 second forty-yard dash. He held scholarship offers from multiple schools around the country and chose the Tigers over top programs such as 'Bama, Baylor, Florida, Georgia, FSU, LSU, USC, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Thornton comes in a little on the lean side has long arms and a big, tall frame to build on. He reminds me a lot of Dee Ford in terms of quickness and a leaner frame but is much taller than Ford. Thornton has great talent and even more upside. Could see the field early with the departure of three senior defensive ends.