Photo via Bryce Thornton, Twitter
Most of the work Billy Napier has done on the recruiting trail in his bump class was done in the state of Florida. Today, he ventured out of the state- and took one away from Alabama, and his former boss Nick Saban.
Bryce Thornton, a consensus three-star safety out of Milton High School in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, has committed to Florida. He chose the Gators over the Crimson Tide.
Don’t be fooled by Thornton’s three-star status. In fact, his offer list looks more like that of a five-star than a three-star. On top of his offers from Florida and Alabama, Bryce Thornton also garnered offers from Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, Miami, Oregon, FSU, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Mississippi State, West Virginia, and Michigan State.
You can watch his high school highlights here.
In a word, Bryce Thornton is versatile. He’s a two-way player for Milton, and he produces on both sides of the ball. As a sophomore, he touched the ball 36 times and amassed 340 yards of total offense, including two touchdowns. He switched to primarily playing defense as a junior, where he found a home in the secondary.
On tape, Thornton seems to be a smart player with a nose for the football. He’s adept at closing in on a receiver as the ball arrives and either beating him to the ball to break it up or dislodging it after the receiver has made first contact with it. Thornton isn’t the biggest defensive back in this class, having last weighed in at 5’10 and 185, but he’s also not done growing and should fill out his frame once Florida’s strength staff gets to work with him.
The commitment of Bryce Thornton gives Florida its 21st commitment of the 2023 recruiting class, and provides even more depth to an already stockpiled defensive back class. Thornton joins Ja’Keem Jackson, Jordan Castell, and Sharif Denson in the class.
Florida’s class now sits just outside the top ten of the 247Sports Composite rankings system, and if a certain something happens later tonight, it just might hop into the top ten by the time we all go to sleep.