Scout Ranking: ***
Scout Rank: No. 84 RB
Size: 6-1, 200 pounds
Hometown: Hinesville, GA
School: Liberty County High School
Stats: As a senior, Thornton rushed for 1,738 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011, averaging better than seven yards per carry.
Accolades: Rated a three-star prospect and the No. 39 RB nationally by ESPN...all-conference
Commit Date: November 12, 2011
Recruiting Scene: Although he initially committed to Kentucky, it appeared that Hinesville (GA) Liberty County RB Shadrach Thornton was most likely headed for either Georgia Tech or Vanderbilt.
Although NC State was heavily involved, Tech's run-happy offense and Commodore's head coach James Frankin's reputation as a terrific recruiter appeared to give those two schools the upper hand as Thornton closed in on a decision. However, in the end, the Wolfpack won the surprising commitment.
Ole Miss made a late charge and tried to convince Thornton to officially visit but in the end, he decided to forego that trip and remained solid to the Pack.
Why NC State? "I really like the pro-style offense that North Carolina State runs and I like (running backs) coach (Everette) Sands. After he saw my highlights, he was all over it. Even when I took trips to other schools, he stayed on me and let me know how much he wanted me to play there."
Picked NC State Over: Kentucky, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech
Scouting Report: "Thornton is a tall, slashing running with a good speed to power combination. Has room to add 15-20 pounds of additional bulk and should continue to earn great yards after contact production if he can run a bit lower and behind his pads. Shows deceptive speed but he can get caught from behind and doesn't have great top-end. Has adequate fluidity for a taller back and loses little in transition cutting laterally, but is still a straight-line runner. An upright, one-cut-and-go back who will dip his shoulders when needed through traffic.
"Runs without smooth footwork but is agile enough to see and hit the cutback and get thin when needed. Flashes good explosion out of his downhill cuts and through the first level. Shows more than adequate burst bouncing it outside and can press the corner but is most productive when planting and getting North." -- ESPN