The most impressive recruiting pipeline to develop for the Wolfpack since the arrival of NC State head coach Chuck Amato has originated at Killian High School in Miami, Fla. From south Florida to Raleigh, NC, LB Pat Thomas, S Andre Maddox and LB Stephen Tulloch flourished with the Wolfpack. All three earned all-conference honors while with the Wolfpack and the trio find themselves residing in the NFL. The fourth signee from Killian, Miguel Scott, projects as a starter for the Pack in 2006. It comes as no surprise then that the Pack is back at Killian looking at talent for the class of 2007. High on the wish list is rising senior LB Ronnie Thornton.
At 6-2, 210 pounds with 4.7-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Thornton finished off his junior season with 89 tackles and five sacks. Ironically, however, he didn't receive a single postseason award. Despite the lack of attention from the local media, Thornton has still received a plethora of interest from college coaches so far in 2006. Already, he's accrued scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Auburn, NC State, Memphis, Ohio and Central Florida. So far, three of those schools have risen to the top of Thornton's wish list.
"Yeah, you could say Pittsburgh, Auburn and NC State are my top three right now," he said. "All three are pretty much equal."
Although he's yet to make a trip to Raleigh, the Pack has done a super job of recruiting Thornton and he had nothing but praise for State's program."
"I love their defense," he said. "Their defense is what really got me. I love the way they come together and play as a team. Also, I had heard a lot about Stephen Tulloch when he was a player here at Killian. He introduced himself to me when he came home during the spring and that was really cool. He was wishing me good luck with my recruiting this year."
Another factor for the Wolfpack in the race to land Thornton has been defensive line coach Todd Stroud. He has made a huge impression on the senior linebacker and is one of the main reasons State can include itself among Thornton's top three.
"Coach Stroud is a really cool guy," he said. "He's been working hard trying to get me to NC State and I like that about him. Of all the coaches, he shows me the most interest by texting me a lot and just letting me know he wants me."
Thornton did not attend any camps over the summer and doesn't have any visits planned any time soon. He plans to take several of his official visits before making a decision and he knows exactly what will play the largest role in his final decision.
"Getting on the field and getting my job done are the main considerations for me right now," he said.