Liberty County High School alum Shadrach Thornton has been fully reinstated to the North Carolina State football team after being suspended, according to published reports.
During a question-and-answer session Wednesday following the Wolfpack’s first practice in full pads, head coach Dave Doeren announced that the junior running back is at full status after meeting all his requirements during his six-month suspension, according to multiple reports.
Doeren added that the coaching staff feels good about what Thornton’s done on and off the field during his suspension and is excited they can put this behind them and move forward.
Thornton has practiced with the team in spring and preseason drills.
Authorities cited Thornton for misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in December 2013. As part of a sexual-battery investigation, police visited an apartment he shared with teammates. Their search warrant named Thornton as a possible suspect in the investigation.
According to reports on USA Today, The Fayetteville Observer, The WolfPacker and others, Thornton’s attorney, Lee Turner, said authorities dismissed charges against his client because Thornton was not present during the search and passed drug tests. Thornton was not charged in the sexual-battery case.
The Wolfpack’s leading rusher the past two seasons received counseling as part of a deal with the court to defer prosecution for a June 2013 charge of misdemeanor assault on a female.
Turner said Thornton has complied with court requirements, which could lead to the dismissal of the charge Aug. 20.
According to stats posted on the Wolfpack’s website, Thornton rushed for a career-high 173 yards against Florida State last year, including a career-long 72-yard touchdown run during which he broke the 1,000-yard mark for his career.
Thornton finished his sophomore year ranked third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing with 78.9 yards per league game.
As a freshman, he rushed for 694 yards, even though he started just four games and missed the first three contests of the year.