RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State suspended rushing leader Shadrach Thornton for two games Thursday for a violation of athletic department rules.
Team spokeswoman Annabelle Myers said the unspecified violation occurred during the spring semester. The senior running back will miss the Sept. 5 opener against Troy and the Sept. 12 home game against Eastern Kentucky.
Thornton ran for 907 yards and nine touchdowns. Thornton, fellow back Matt Dayes and mobile quarterback Jacoby Brissett helped the Wolfpack averaged 204.5 yards rushing - the program's best total since 1992.
North Carolina State also has redshirt sophomore Dakwa Nichols and added depth with a freshman class that includes January enrollee Reggie Gallaspy II, who had a strong spring game.
This is the third suspension for Thornton, who sat out the 2013 opener during coach Dave Doeren's first season after being charged with misdemeanor assault on a female. Lee Turner, Thornton's attorney, said Thursday night Thornton received counseling through a deferred-prosecution agreement that ultimately led to the dismissal of that charge.
In December 2013, Doeren indefinitely suspended Thornton after authorities cited him for misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Turner said those charges were later dismissed, leading to his reinstatement during last year's training camp to avoid sitting any games.