A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against Florida International on August 31. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Now, we get to some starters. Finally.
Brad Craddock, Sophomore, Kicker, #15
Major: Exercise Science
Collegiate Stats: 10/16 field goals (52 long), 23/25 extra points, one punt for 23 yards, one tackle
High School Stats: N/A
Recruiting Ratings: Four and a half stars (Chris Sailer kicking)
High School: Tabor Christian College
Hometown: Adelaide, Australia
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
In high school, Craddock played four sports - none of them American football. Instead, he dabbled in soccer, tennis, track and Aussie Rules football, learning how to kick in the latter. Chris Sailer kicking listed him as the top kicking prospect in all of Australia, and he ended up committing to Maryland over pitches from Texas Tech and Boston College.
Craddock was a late addition to Maryland's 2012 class, after training for a year-and-a-half with OzPunt, an Australian academy specializing in American football specialists. He was expected to follow fellow Aussies Brad Wing, Tom Hornsey and Adam Coles as punters in the US, but when Nick Ferrara fell with an injury, it was Craddock who stepped up at placekicer.
Craddock did not have nearly as bad of a year as some of you may remember - while he missed some key field goals (including a brutal gut shot that clinched a loss against NC State), he hit ten of his 16 attempts and was four of six from beyond 40 yards. His real troubles came from close-range - he hit three of five from under 29 and missed two extra points. In late October, Craddock was benched in favor of walk-on Brendan Magistro, who took over short kicking duties.
"Cradkick". Man, kicker names are easy.
Hitting a 49-yarder and 52-yarder in the same game against Wake Forest.
Craddock finds his short-range accuracy, cementing the starting kicking job.
Craddock stands on top of Maryland's kicking depth chart, and it's hard to really argue with that decision. Despite the difficulties from close-range, when the other options are converted punter Michael Tart and walk-on Magistro, it's not a very difficult choice. That being said, this looks to be somewhat of a competition this spring, at least in the short game. It's hard to imagine Magistro or Tart beating out Craddock for the whole job, but the extra points and short field goals are certainly up for grabs.
Randy Edsall, without a doubt, would prefer to have the same guy taking all of the field goals. It helps with confidence and consistency. But if Craddock can't hit the short ones, Maryland will have to go with Magistro or Tart. The bottom line? That was Brad Craddock's first year of organized football, playing against huge men running and trying to hurt you. It would be natural to see a steep rise in his ability - and for Maryland, the sooner that comes, the better.
Our next player turned down a walk-on opportunity at Florida State in order to come to Maryland.
Redturtle takes the lead.
Redturtle - 2
proudterp - 1
curterp - 1
terpsfinish - 1
KHemer - 1