Craddock Finds Consistency

Maryland sophomore kicker Brad Craddock talks about how he has improved this season, and his three big kicks in the Terps win over West Virginia on Saturday.

Adjustments.

Maryland kicker Brad Craddock knows all about adjustments. The native of Adelaide,Australia, already had to adjust to a American football, college life, and oh yeah, the United States.

Craddock, who grew up playing Australian rules football, did not have much time to adjust to American game during his first season at Maryland. Last season, an injury to the Terps incumbent starter, thrust Craddock into a starting role from day one.

Thus, the Aussie had to make this adjustments with everyone watching. With so much to take in it is easy to understand why Craddock struggled to find consistency last season. There was the potential game-winning field goal against N.C. State that he clanked off the upright. Adjustments needed to be made.

During the offseason, Craddock set out to do just that. He set up kicking sessions with former Ravens kicker Matt Stover at a local high school in Baltimore to work on his technique.

One adjustment Craddock had still failed to make was the whole driving on the other side of the road thing, but he enlisted the help of a few generous teammates to drive him out to sessions.

"He helped me with my technique a lot. It was just repetitive over and over again practicing the right things all the time. If you practice a lot and do the wrong things your still going to miss, so its just trying to do the right thing all the time and watching film," Craddock said. "I think a lot of the stuff you hear from a Coach you think, 'Oh that's obvious,' but you don't do it. It is not something you ever thought about before. He has taught me a lot."

The hard work clearly paid off. Craddock hit three key field goals in Maryland's win over West Virginia on September 21, including a 50-yarder in the pouring down rain.

"That felt really good because I missed one last week from there so I was really glad that [Randy] Edsall gave me the opportunity again," Craddock said. "I was stoked as soon as I hit it, I yelled to Michael that it was good and I think one of the lineman yelled back at me, so it was great to get that one that's for sure."

Craddock has developed a newfound confidence from his off-season work, which has contributed to his success on the field this season.

"It is a confidence thing that is really important, but I trust my technique this year a lot more than I did last year. It is just knowing exactly what I'm going to do and where I am going to aim," Craddock said. "It is not just going out there to kick the ball, it is putting it exactly where I want it every time."

The results speak for themselves. Craddock is 10 of 11 on field goals and has missed just one of 18 extra point attempts.

"Consistency is something I always have to work on, I guess what every kicker had to work on, but I am feeling pretty good at the moment," Craddock said.

"So it's different then last year and it's a lot of fun at the moment that's for sure."


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