Thornton Sees Opportunity in Raleigh

Hinesville (GA) tailback Shadrach Thornton enjoyed a recent visit to NC State. He talks about that trip with Pack Pride.

When prospects are making their decisions they will often look at the depth charts  and recent recruiting classes of the schools they are considering.

The simple fact is that kids want to play. Shadrach Thornton, a 6-1, 200-pound running back from Hinesville (GA) Liberty County, will admit that much.

When NC State offered Thornton back on March 11 it didn't take long for him to start to do his research on the school. Assistant coach Jim Bridge made his pitch for the program and expressed his interest in Thornton. Then the prospect started to look at the roster. He liked what he saw.

"I've been doing a little research on NC State. I've been researching their engineering program, the graduation percentage and all that good stuff. The thing I like about NC State is they didn't recruit any running backs from the Class of 2011. Since I'm in 2012, I would be competing against guys in my own class for a starting spot. That plays a role," he said.

"I was there for the spring game. So far their facilities were the best I've seen. They were great. I thought they were outstanding. I was really impressed when I saw the facilities. I got to talk to the players."

Bridge made the trip down to Georgia and has made it clear that he would love to see Thornton with the Pack.

"He's let me know their program is doing real well. He loves my size and said I'd be a perfect fit for the offense. The recruiting coach for my area got switched, though. It's coach Sands now," he said.

Thornton said NC State offered the day after they saw his highlight tape. That's a pretty good sign the coaches would really like to see him on board.

NC State is going to have some serious competition. Kentucky and Vanderbilt have offered out of the SEC.

"I'm interested in Kentucky because their running backs coach used to be the head coach down here at LaGrange," he explained. "When we played against LaGrange in the first round I had an outstanding game. That plays a big part. He doesn't like me because of film or anything. He's seen me do it in person.

"Vanderbilt hasn't been as fortunate as some of the other schools recruiting me but they have a whole new staff and that plays a part in it. The coach is telling me the running backs they've recruited are about 180, 185 pounds. They said I'd complement them very well."

Georgia is also showing interest in Thornton. You would imagine the Bulldogs would be tough to beat if they did offer. UGa's running backs coach has seen Thornton's tape and said he loves the fact that he breaks tackles and runs hard. He even told Thornton that he reminds him of Knowshon Moreno in a way. The Bulldogs will have a coach or two down at Liberty County for their spring practice to watch Thornton in person. Georgia Tech is also recruiting Thornton hard.

This summer Thornton plans on checking out Kentucky and Vanderbilt. He will probably be in Lexington in early June. He's also hoping to visit Georgia and Georgia Tech.

Thornton doesn't plan on making a decision anytime soon.

"As far as that goes I feel like when you commit to a college it's like a marriage. Once you give your word you can't turn your back on it. You can't back out," he said.

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