It’s Specialists Week here at Testudo Times. It’s time to dig into Maryland’s past, just like we’ve done with quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, tight ends, the offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties this summer.
Here’s a look at the nominees:
Novak is Maryland’s all-time leading scorer, accounting for 393 points during his Terrapin career, 85 more than his closest competitor. Of those points, 235 came in his sophomore (125) and junior (110) seasons. The two-time All-ACC First Team honoree converted 153 extra points and 80 field goals in his career; both rank first in the Maryland record books. He’s the only player in Maryland history to earn all-conference honors four times.
Novak has been in professional football for over a decade, but didn’t really find his footing in the NFL until after stints in the United Football League and NFL Europe. As a member of the 2013 San Diego Chargers, Novak was named to the All-AFC West squad at season’s end.
The second-highest scorer in Maryland history, Atkinson’s 308 points earned him but one First Team All-ACC honor during his four-year career. His 128 converted extra points rank second in program history. Of those 128, he made 92 in a row, which marks the longest streak by a Terp ever. Atkinson’s 60 made field goals are second only to Novak. Following his Terp career, he spent four seasons in the NFL with four teams.
The most recent Terp featured on this list, Craddock sits at No. 3 on Maryland’s all-time scoring list. The Australian’s 126 converted extra points are the third-most in program history, while his 44 consecutive extra points made in 2014 are the second-most in a row in a single season. He was perfect on extra points that season, which has happened fourteen other times in Maryland history. Sitting behind Novak and Atkinson, Craddock has made the third-most field goals in a Terp uniform. He’s the most accurate placekicker to ever don the Terps’ jersey, converting 81.4 percent (57 of 70) of his field goal attempts, specifically aided by his outstanding 2014 season, in which he made 18 of 19, including a game-winner over Penn State in State College and a 57-yarder against Ohio State, the longest in Maryland history.
That 2014 performance earned him First Team All-American honors from the Football Writers Association and second team honors from the Associated Press. Most importantly, Craddock’s accuracy, range and clutch gene earned him the 2014 Lou Groza Award, presented to college football’s top kicker at season’s end. He’s the only Terp kicker to win the award. In the same season, he was a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team honoree and the Big Ten’s Bakken-Anderson Kicker of the Year.
Despite his outstanding college career, Craddock has had a hard time breaking into the NFL, only having a cup of tea with the Cleveland Browns before the 2016 season.
Honorable mention: Dan Plocki, Brian Kopka
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