Florida leads for Alabama prep star

One of the latest prospects to receive a Florida offer is 2014 Prichard (Ala.) Vigor defensive end Justin Thornton.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Thornton picked up the scholarship nod just a week ago, and it was a special offer to him.

“It means a lot to me,” Thornton said. “I’m so excited this was a dream offer for me and to have it is special to me. It just means a whole a lot to me.”

Now that Thornton has the offer, he has a new leader that he released on Tuesday night, and it shouldn’t surprise you on who that leader is.

“Florida is my leader now,” Thornton said. “I just sat down the last few days and prayed about it and I feel comfortable with Florida and them being my leader. Not many people get a chance to have an offer from their dream school and for me to have it is special. It’s honor to me to have an offer from Florida.”

For Thornton, rooting for Florida was easy for him and his passion for the Gators has grown the last few years.

“I always watch Florida play on TV,” Thornton said. “I tell everyone that Florida is my team. I’m a big (Tim) Tebow fan and the more I learn about him the more I love Tebow. I remember when Florida won the 2006 and 2008 national championship team. I was so excited.”

Growing up in Alabama rooting for Florida is hard for Thornton, but he has his own way of dealing with Alabama fans.

“My mom is a big Alabama fan,” Thornton said. “Whenever Alabama comes on TV I just walk outside, and when Florida beats Alabama I rub it in with her. When Florida beat Alabama that time in the championship game, it was great.”

Florida already has one player from the Mobile, Ala., area in Solomon Patton, and Thornton plans to talk with him when he visits Florida this weekend.

Thornton and his mom will be in Gainesville this weekend for Florida’s junior day.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.