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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Watch List DE ready for FSU trip

By Corey Dowlar

Florida State's upcoming official visitor list looks light -- just one 2013 prospect, in fact -- but that doesn't mean important underclassmen won't be on campus.

ESPN Watch List defensive end Justin Thornton (Prichard, Ala./Vigor), a top junior, will make the drive over to Tallahassee.

"It will be my first time going up there," he said. "I am just looking for a good coaching staff, good academics all the way around and a good environment because I want to be at a place where it is great to be there. I want to go to a school in Florida because it is just one of the main places I want to stay at. I like it there and it isn't far from home."

Thornton, who has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU and South Carolina, holds FSU in high regard. Florida State has new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to thank for that.

The two have known each other for a few years back from Pruitt's time on the Alabama coaching staff.

"I have had a relationship with Coach Pruitt ever since he left Alabama when I was a freshman," Thornton said. "So I just want to go there and meet the coordinators, the head coach and see how it is. Every time I talk to Coach Pruitt, he tries to get me to understand that they want me up there."

Listing Florida State at, or near, the top of his list hasn't been something the 6-foot-5, 226-pound defensive lineman has shied away from.

If his upcoming visit goes well, Thornton didn't write off the possibility of committing, though he did say a quick decision would be unlikely.

He's already got a timetable setup in his head.

"I just want to be able to go to every campus that I can,” Thornton said. “I want to commit during the summer, so that is the plan that I am on now. I just have to think about it and commit before my season starts."

Thornton is fresh off a trip to Alabama, and besides this approaching visit to Florida State, he wants to check out a few other SEC destinations.

“… Depending on how time goes, I would try to make a trip to Florida because they want me to go there,” he said. “And a trip to South Carolina sometime in the future."