Hazelwood Central defensive back Dallas Craddieth is one of many talented St. Louis-area prospects who are generating a lot of buzz in the 314 this year. And Craddieth feels that he and his peers can help change the perception of STL football.
"Most definitely (St. Louis is slept on). I think maybe some guys from St. Louis in the past haven’t thrived in college in years past," Craddieth explained, "but we’re trying to change that. I think a guy like Ezekiel Elliott really helped put St. Louis football on the map and bring attention to the city."
Craddieth is a two-way athlete for Central, but is starting to come into his own as a defensive back. He worked out at that position at this past weekend's Under Armour camp.
"Mostly (I want to work on) my man coverage technique," he said. "I feel pretty good in zone coverage, but I want to work on my man technique."
Craddieth has the flexibility to play both corner and safety, but is a better fit at safety. He knows that schools want to see the full complement of defensive back skills from him.
"A lot of schools are recruiting me at safety," he said, "so a lot of schools want to see me doing one-on-one’s on the defensive side."
Craddieth's two most recent offers came from the Big Ten and SEC, respectively. Those go along with several other Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, and SEC offers he already holds.
"Michigan State offered earlier this week," Craddieth said, "and Kentucky (offered) a few weeks ago."
Craddieth said he felt that he's very flexible as far as fit, and said that he would prefer to land in a system where the safeties are used in a variety of ways.
"Probably one that involves moving around the safeties a lot," he said. "I think I’m pretty versatile and could play safety, nickel, or even corner."
Craddieth has plenty of options in his recruitment. Iowa is a school that has done a good job recruiting him and putting themselves in a strong position. But he also talked a bit about two of the schools who have made big pushes for him and several others in the Saint Louis area.
"With Mizzou, I talk to coach (Cornell) Ford a lot," he said. "When we speak, we have good conversations about more than just football. With Illinois, I talk to coach (Thad) Ward a lot. Pretty much every Thursday. We talk about how things are going with family and all that, and I like that a lot."
Craddieth hasn't cut his list yet, but told Scout that he would likely be cutting his list down sometime early-mid summer and move forward from there.
"Yeah I’ll probably make some visits," he said, "and then after those narrow things down before school starts. Right now the plan is to decide sometime after the season."