After posting 4,345 career rushing yards at Liberty County High School, Shadrach Thornton is ready to make his mark at North Carolina State and penned his name to a letter of intent Wednesday morning during national signing day.
Immediately after signing, Thornton put on his N.C. State hat, stood up and howled like a proud Wolfpack member. Thornton made an immediate impact during his freshman season at LCHS, and he said he is ready to do the same to establish himself in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I just want to go up there and be a small piece of the pie,” he said. “The O-line up there is already great; they have a great quarterback in (Mike) Glennon. I mean these guys are awesome. They are projected to win the ACC title for this coming year. … I’m just proud to be a part of it.”
Thornton called his decision a no-brainer after researching the academic programs.
“I picked the school because of the school and not the coach,” he said. “They have a great academic program in civil engineering, and that is what I want to do. I looked at their program, and they are one of the best in the country. They have a high graduation rate for their football players, and it was just all coming together."
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back had committed to Kentucky earlier this year but quickly changed his mind, saying N.C. State was a better fit for him. He also had offers from Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.“I want to come in and help right away, and if I go up there and do what I am supposed to, they are looking for me to help right away because they need that big time back,” Thornton said.
Thornton’s teammate, Melvin King, also signed a letter of intent, paving the way to play at Georgia State University. King said having the opportunity to play under head coach Bill Curry and at the Georgia Dome is just too good to pass up.
“It feels amazing, wonderful,” he said.
King added that Murray told him he has a good look for playing the game and was chosen as a defensive end and potential outside linebacker.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior was named to the all-region first team in Class 2-AAAA. He had 51 tackles as a junior and 48 as a senior.
King said he plans to study business management at Georgia State and is ready to prepare for the season.
“I’m going to work hard, try and make the big plays, set new records and break records,” he said.
“It’s hard enough to get one player signed, much less two,” LCHS coach Kirk Warner said. “I think Georgia State is getting a fine young man in Melvin, and N.C. State is getting an awesome player in Shadrach.
“After talking with their coaches, if they both do what they are supposed to do between now and July 1, they are going to have a chance for early playing time.”