Over the course of his Maryland football career, kicker Brad Craddock has accumulated some pretty impressive honors. After winning last season's Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top collegiate kicker, the rising senior will have plenty of eyes on him in his final year in College Park.
Thursday, the DC Touchdown Club will celebrate Craddock as the Washington Metro College Player of the Year. The awards banquet will also honor Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka and former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.
While Craddock said he's appreciated the pomp and circumstance after his near-perfect 2014 season, he's not much for relishing in that success. In fact, he'd rather stash his trophies away than keep them out on display.
“I don't really like looking at them too much, so I've hidden them in the back of my closet behind some golf clubs,” he said. “I'll look at them at the end of, I guess, when I'm finished kicking.”
Over spring break, Craddock continued to work on his craft. He ventured down to Tennessee where he worked with special teamers from the Volunteers, as well as nearby schools Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
He's also continued his work with former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover this spring.
Craddock was 18 for 19 on field goal attempts last season and said that being perfect is one of his goals entering 2015.
“It's [all about] what you expect from yourself, and how you're going to make yourself better,” he said. “I don't think anyone has got a higher expectation of me than I have of myself. And as long as it stays that way, then pressure will never really come into it.”
Maryland coach Randy Edsall has praised the leadership abilities of his Australian kicker. He even placed Craddock on the team's Leadership Council before the start of spring practice.
Craddock said he's embraced the role of being a go-to person for the younger players. But, as far as giving specific in-game analysis and advice, he's sticking to what he knows best.
“It's hard being a leader as a kicker in a game, because I separate myself from everyone to kick,” he said. “So, it's like, I'm not going to go up to [quarterbacks] Caleb [Rowe] or Perry [Hills] or any of those guys and be like ‘Hey, you missed this,' because I don't know what I'm talking about.
“So I have to rely on the leaders of those positions to do that stuff, and I'll worry about my guys, and hopefully that all comes together.”
New RBs coach a 'natural fit'
Filling the same position he held at Connecticut for 12 seasons, new Terps running backs coach Terry Richardson said coming back to work with Edsall was a “natural fit.”
With a few spring practices under his belt, Richardson has been able to appraise the talent Maryland has coming out of the backfield.
Wes Brown is out for the spring, so the new coach has gotten a good look at a few different options. Those include Jacquille Veii, whom Richardson called a “dynamic” player when he's got the ball in his hands.
It's early, but so far, he's liked what he's seen from the running backs.
“There's some ability there,” he said. “It's a just matter of just developing their fundamentals, the techniques, just getting a little bit more consistent across the board I think is the key.”
Reach Matt Owings at 410-857-7893 or firstname.lastname@example.org.