Former Liberty County High School running back Shadrach Thornton remains suspended from North Carolina State’s football team, even though he’s listed on the team roster.
The incoming junior is on the 2014 roster available at gopack.com, but according to an email last week to the Courier from Annabelle Myers, the Wolfpack’s media-relations specialist, Thornton remains indefinitely suspended from the squad.
The Wolfpack’s leading rusher the last two seasons was suspended in December amid allegations of sexual battery and marijuana possession. In March, the charges of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia were voluntarily dismissed. Thornton has not been charged in the sexual-battery investigation.
December’s indefinite suspension came six months after Thornton served a one-game suspension after witnesses alleged he and his girlfriend were involved in a physical altercation in a school library. Thornton was given a deferred prosecution ruling in that case so he could undergo monitored counseling.
Several news reports have indicated that Thornton — who has participated in all team activities, including team practices and the Wolfpack’s media day earlier this year — is among the potential starters for the upcoming season.
In an article posted June 10 on backingthepack.com, DJ Wilson wrote that Thornton is one of three primary running backs who should have the majority of the carries this season. Similarly, an article posted June 12 on sportschatplace.com and written by Randy Chambers has Thornton listed as one of the seven returning offensive starters.
According to gopack.com, Thornton last season had a team-high 801 yards rushing and tied for top honors in rushing touchdowns with four. He rushed for a career-high 173 yards against eventual national-champion Florida State, including a career-long 72-yard touchdown run. Also against the Seminoles, Thornton broke the 1,000-rushing-yard mark for his collegiate career.
As a freshman, Thornton led the Wolfpack in rushing with 694 yards despite starting only four games and missing the season’s first three games.