RB Shadrach Thornton commits to Kentucky but will still visit Georgia Tech

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Georgia Tech still has a chance for one of the state’s top running backs who committed to Kentucky on Sunday.

Shadrach Thornton of Liberty High School said he will go ahead and take his official visit to Georgia Tech next month despite his pledge to Kentucky. He will also visit N.C. State.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder said he talked with Georgia Tech assistant Lamar Owens.

“I called to let him know that I did commit but that I still wanted to take my official visit there to make sure Kentucky is where I want to go,” Thornton told the AJC. “Coach Owens totally understood. Kentucky was my first official visit, and I’ve got to factor in the distance from home, and what are the pros and cons of each school.

“I’m going to take my official visits to Georgia Tech and N.C. State. If I feel the same way about Kentucky after all of that, then I will pick those guys.”

Thornton will travel to N.C. State this weekend and Georgia Tech on Oct. 29.

He has a 3.27 GPA and plans to study Mechanical Engineering.

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43 comments Add your comment

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
3:15 am

wants to be a ME and Tech is not his top choice? Don’t get that at all, but where he goes he has to live with the choice. If he can Play and Pass TECH is the only real choice of the schools he has listed.

GT Fan

September 26th, 2011
4:19 am

I’m not sure what the draw is to Kentucky. Sure, Kentucky has a great legacy in athletics for basketball. The football program has always struggled and has shown no signs of improving anytime soon. Kentucky almost got beat by Western Kentucky the first game of the season. Check out the stats on Western Kentucky and you’ll find they are one of the worst Div. 1 schools in the country. And after the spanking Florida gave Kentucky this week…

I just don’t understand this decision. Anyway, good luck kid.

Oman Jacket

September 26th, 2011
4:30 am

I think GT should audit that GPA before offering. The guy doesn’t sound to sharp.

I’ve been working for 20 years and have yet to come across a Kentucky ME.

NorthAvenueRules

September 26th, 2011
4:44 am

Paul Johnson is definitely in the running for coach of the year in the ACC this year. That would make 3 out of 4 years. He’s a brilliant football mind and will definitely be considered one of the all time best college football coaches ever. Going into Week #5 this season, GT has the highest total offense and highest points scored of any team in the nation.

I just don’t understand what Shadrach’s logic is here. Does he have family in KY that we don’t know about?

Ramblin Man

September 26th, 2011
6:54 am

This confused me when I heard about it yestersay. Why commit to KY if you are not sure you want to go there? Why chose KY for ME? Good luck to the kid in whatever he does, but this makes no sense.

Luke

September 26th, 2011
7:21 am

If his heart is set on KY, let him go to KY. I’m sure it was just a rash decision, but in the end, its where the heart is. Good luck to the kid in his endeavors, but hope to see him come to the Flats to join a great stable of backs that we have currently and coming in.

Go Jackets!

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

September 26th, 2011
8:03 am

[...] work to do in its recruitment of Thornton. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he plans to take other visits before he makes a final decision.“I’m going to take my official visits to Georgia Tech [...]

Hal

September 26th, 2011
8:15 am

“Shadrach, MEshach, and Abednego” I think he was thinking about this old Louis Armstrong song.
not an ME degree.

ed brewer

September 26th, 2011
8:54 am

if cjp is so hep on telling kids you committed to GT, why not tell this kid you committed to Ky
so we want you honor your committment?

01HAWK

September 26th, 2011
9:20 am

Kids are so confused these days. Why committ when you will take other visits unless you are afraid of losing a spot at that school.

Anyone see OLE MISS on Saturday…………………………..I do not know if they would win the SOCON.

shoes

September 26th, 2011
9:28 am

why anyone would want to play for Kentucky is beyond me especially a student athlete wishing to major in mechanical engineering, must be handing out money up there

Jacketforlife

September 26th, 2011
9:43 am

I think PJ is a great coach, but doesn’t it seem a bit hypocritical for him to let a committed kid visit when he has such a hard line stance on Jacket recuits visiting other schools. I’m just sayin….

Buzzzed

September 26th, 2011
9:46 am

I hope someone explains to him what “commitment” means. He should have just named a leader. Probably should stay away from this one. He coach should be advising him better than this.

Outside Observer

September 26th, 2011
9:51 am

Jacketforlife, there is no hypocrisy in PJ’s concept. He does not want a player to commit to Tech unless they are absolutely sure Tech is where they want to be. He doesn’t want players to rush their decisions based on the moment and commit when they aren’t ready. If you commit to Tech, that is it, be confident in your decision and don’t take anymore visits. Like this kid mentioned, he committed to Kentucky, but he is not convinced he wants to be there. He wants to check out other schools and make sure it is the right decision. Aside from the fact that the definition of committed has been forgotten in the world of recruiting, it is not PJ’s problem if a kid is committing before he is sure. His stance makes players be fully sure in their decision before committing. It’s an admirable concept really.

Ramblin Man

September 26th, 2011
9:56 am

Really are we going to start the hypocrytical stuff again? Hope the coaches go after Tevin Coleman that much harder now.

CarolinaJacket

September 26th, 2011
10:18 am

Don’t know if the Jackets have a shot at this young man, but in any case, I like the suggestion made by others to change the rules so that a commitment is a binding commitment. This might cut down on all this switching and it should make players more thoughtful before making a commitment. And, I surely would like to see Tech start getting more commitments soon. UGA seems to be racking them up again, even though I see that they just lost one of their top ones. Go Jacktets, no let down against NC State.

blazer

September 26th, 2011
10:26 am

Let him go there if he committed-drop him like a rock! Make commit mean something!!!

GTJason

September 26th, 2011
10:28 am

CPJ can do w/e he wants if he’s going to have a team that plays like this. Hill was ranked the #90 receiver in the nation by espn for his class and O. Smith was the #52 running back. Wouldn’t trade those 2 for the world and don’t tell me that they are plug and play positions. We recruit like the NBA drafts, on potential. Keep the 3 stars coming!

Teddy Roosevelt

September 26th, 2011
10:31 am

In the latest US news rankings, the Georgia Tech Mechanical Engineering program was ranked #2 nationally, just a hair under the Georgia Tech of the north(MIT). Kentucky and U(sic)GA’s engineering programs were nowhere to be found.

Teddy Roosevelt

September 26th, 2011
10:36 am

CarolinaJacket

September 26th, 2011
10:44 am

And O. Smith was a TWO star rated running back. Not bad.

RambleOn84

September 26th, 2011
11:03 am

This tells me that the Kentucky coaches were pushing him to commit…no other reason I can think of to commit but then immediately call Tech coaches and tell us he’s still coming.

I know one thing: we better beat NC State this weekend while he visits there.

Gerald

September 26th, 2011
11:16 am

UGA fans calling Paul Johnson a hypocrite:

Look. Paul Johnson is running a triple option offense. That means that he has to put up with people telling THREE STAR RECRUITS that THEIR SCHOOL will do a better job of preparing them for the NFL despite KNOWING FULL WELL that they have as good a chance of winning the lottery than sticking on an NFL roster long enough to make real money. So, Johnson doesn’t want guys deluding themselves about their chances in the NFL using his program as a fallback option. Case in point: Dontae Aycock, who was all set to be Tech’s QB of the future until he listened to the “GT won’t get you to the NFL crowd” (which regrettably included his brother), then wound up getting himself kicked out of Auburn, then winds up at South Florida and now has quit football altogether. CPJ is perfectly justified in making sure that he doesn’t waste his time on people like that. If you don’t want to come to a COLLEGE like Georgia Tech and play in a COLLEGE OFFENSE that gives Georgia Tech their best chance to win on the COLLEGE LEVEL (Chan Gailey is winning in the NFL but couldn’t win at GT … has anyone noticed that!) and then live out the rest of your life having the benefits of gone to COLLEGE at Georgia Tech (a degree in engineering, foreign relations or business at a top 10 public university) then come here. But if you want to delude yourself about your ability to make a living in the NFL when you weren’t even good enough to make all state in high school, then go be some benchwarmer majoring in exercise science with a double minor in sports administration and locker room management at some SEC school, and see how it works out for you. Chan Gailey allowed his program to be taken hostage by guys who wanted to go to the NFL, and figured it was easier to get on the field to show their wares at Tech than at Alabama, UGA, Ohio State, or even Clemson. You saw the results, on the field and in the classroom (and with the NCAA infractions committee). CPJ only wants kids who are serious about winning games at GT, and now you are seeing those results, especially the “things will fall apart at GT once Gailey’s recruits are all gone” crowd. Tech may well be 8-0 when they play Clemson at home right before Hallowe’en, and he wouldn’t be there if he were allowing his program to be the backup plan for kids whose entire goal in life is spending 2 years on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad before getting cut and having to earn a living with a kinesiology degree.

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
11:23 am

Hal
September 26th, 2011
8:15 am

“Shadrach, MEshach, and Abednego” I think he was thinking about this old Louis Armstrong song.

Hal you know the Song is about a BIBLE Story in the Old Testament?

Gerald

September 26th, 2011
11:25 am

Oman Jacket and Other Jacket Fans:

Get over yourself. Kentucky does in fact offer mechanical engineering. Yes, Georgia Tech has a better ME program, but this kid has a better chance of actually graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering (instead of one of public policy, language and culture or one of the other majors that your school added to help your recruiting) at Kentucky than at GT. You went to GT 20 something years ago, you say? Well here’s the deal: Georgia Tech is a lot harder school to get out of now than it was back then. If this kid decided to eliminate UGA from consideration because they don’t offer mechanical engineering (yet) then you’d call that a great decision. Well, choosing a school whose mechanical engineering program that he is far more likely to actually graduate from is also a great decision. The point is that 20 years from now, the kid will be a mechanical engineer, even if he isn’t so privileged as to be in your professional circle (which he wouldn’t be if he graduated from Georgia Tech’s excellent history, science and technology degree program INSTEAD OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING either). Looks like this kid is smarter than the average bear, so let him go for it. Meanwhile, the state is full of good tailbacks that would LOVE to come to Tech to major in whatever degree program that will keep them eligible and on the football field, so go replace this kid with one of them.

St. Richt

September 26th, 2011
11:49 am

Gerald, I think the point is that GT offers both a better education and a better football program than Kentucky.

St. Richt

September 26th, 2011
11:50 am

And that goes for any degree he chooses at GT.

Teddy Roosevellt

September 26th, 2011
11:59 am

Gerald I’m actually a graduating senior ME at Tech currently

bitter uga kicker

September 26th, 2011
1:01 pm

nice timing we are in the market for a kicker———our kicker is love sick and cant clear

———————-his freak-in head———————AKA——blair walsh———-wait till your senior year

—————————————————————-to fall apart——–go figure

Gerald

September 26th, 2011
1:06 pm

St. Richt:

And my point was that Tech’s better education won’t do this kid any good if he fails to graduate. What is Georgia Tech’s graduation rate again? Not too hot. (And a lot of the kids who actually do get Georgia Tech degrees tend to be your reserve linemen as opposed to your starting RBs.) And how many Georgia Tech tailbacks actually get degrees in mechanical (or electrical or chemical) engineering or one of their tougher majors? Again, not so many. Remember Joe Burns? Did he ever graduate? If so, in what major?

That’s the whole point. Georgia Tech is better for this kid if he wants to play football and is “open” to the major program that allows him to accomplish it. But Kentucky is a better option if he actually wants to become a mechanical engineer. That is all I am saying. I like and root for Georgia Tech, but the type of institution that Tech has become the last 10 or so years, I wouldn’t recommend their engineering or hard science programs to very many football players.

Burdell

September 26th, 2011
3:57 pm

Wow…Gerald beating his chest about Kentucky’s engineering program.

Kevin Cone…Falcons Practice Squad…ME degree. It can be done.

GO JACKETS!!!

IL Jacket

September 26th, 2011
6:07 pm

One clear weakness in our team is our special teams, although kudos to the punt return team on the block Saturday. From a recruitment perspective, why doesn’t CPJ offer a first class kicker and punter. I believe both of UGA’s kicker and punter are scholarship players. I know there are always demands to find one more running back or DL, but we are now at the point where we are going to have to be “sound in the kicking game” to fully achieve our maximum potential.

GT GRAD

September 26th, 2011
6:12 pm

My gut says Thornton will eventually sign and play at GT.

James

September 26th, 2011
7:18 pm

Since Paul Johnson pulled a commited player’s offer earlier for visiting another school why wont he just tell him that since he has already commited to Kentucky he dosent want him to visit.Or does his logic only apply when one of his commited players visits another campus? 17 and 18 year old kids like to take trips and be given the royal treatment it just life.Coach Johnson said on the radio that allowing one of his recruits to visit another school after he’s commited to Tech is like allowing his girlfriend to date after he’s married her..Really Coach? Guess it would be ok for you to fool around with someone else’s wife huh?

Dawg1

September 26th, 2011
9:27 pm

If you read through the lines, it sounds like the kid felt pressure to commit and did. He is already having second thoughts. That’s a LONG drive up to Lexington . Wouldn’t surprise me at all if this kid ends up a Jacket.

Nice start. North Carolina is a good team and a win on the road – at that..

ramblin gamblin

September 26th, 2011
11:57 pm

Not hypocritical. When a player commits to GT, CPJ lets the player know and makes it clear to him that he must honor his commitment or his offer will be revoked. But when a kid commits to KY like this, it seems clear that he did not commit under the same instruction by the KY coaching staff. It’s not a matter of just saying you’re committed somewhere; it’s if you tell CPJ you’re committed to tech, you better be committed to tech.
sorta apples and oranges

nash

September 27th, 2011
2:14 am

I’m not going to get into the hole coach cj’s recruiting methods thing but, I do wonder how is it that Kentucky is getting so many top running backs from the state of georgia.

ToeMeetsLeather

September 27th, 2011
4:55 pm

The only thing CPJ can control is HIS policy. Obviously KY does not have the same policy. Enough said.

230gr Full Metal Jacket

September 27th, 2011
6:48 pm

Dawg1, I think you hit it correctly. I VERY much got the impression that Kentucky is the only school he has visited and he felt like he HAD to commit in order to guarantee himself a scholarship. NOW, he will look at some other schools — and most likely de-commit from Kentucky once a better offer is made.

I have to ask though: IF this kid is one of the top RB prospects in Georgia, why are the only schools (apparently) interested in him Kentucky, NCST, and GT???? If he is REALLY one of the top RBs in Georgia I would imagine UA, Bama, UF, FSU. UGA, SC, UT, etc, etc would all be competing for him. Something doesn’t add up!!

230gr Full Metal Jacket

September 27th, 2011
6:52 pm

……and Kentucky for an ME degree????????????? You would be just as well off to get one from University of Phoenix or one of the other mail-order “colleges”. They would have about equal market value!!

Michael Carvell

September 27th, 2011
9:13 pm

@230gr Full Metal Jacket: He doesn’t need offers from the other schools you mentioned to be validated as one of the state’s top running backs. There are 200 seniors per year in Georgia that sign D1 football scholarships. Good players get missed all the time.

I know

September 28th, 2011
4:12 pm

Paul Johnson shouldn’t allow this kid to visit GT since he has already committed to KY. He doesn’t allow his guys to visit other schools. Why the double standard.

shin

September 30th, 2011
12:19 pm

Relax Tech one of the interest he has in Kentucky are the recruits that Phillips has brought in the last 2 years. He see other boys from Georgia going there and coach Tee Martin and Pardue(ex Lagrange H.S. coach) have shown him the fine facilities(including larger stadium than Tech) and most importantly the chance to play in the MIGHTY S.E.C.