Craddock Keeping Lead Role

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- At the very least, Albert Craddock should match his junior season statistics, as his responsibilities remain the same. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound North Carolina verbal commitment will continue to be Southwest Guilford's chief weapon on both sides of the ball.

  • Practice Photo Gallery: Albert Craddock

    "He's been the focus of our offense the last three years," Southwest Guilford head football coach Bryan Davis said from the Southwest Guilford practice field Tuesday morning. "He plays fullback in our offense, which is an option-based offense, so he's going to carry the ball 60-percent of the time. It's a quick hit offense, so when he gets the ball most of the defense won't be in their stance, yet.

    "On defense he's going to be out there at middle linebacker in our 4-3 scheme. He's so fast and explosive that he can cut from sideline-to-sideline. It prevents teams from running away from him as well."

    While on the field, things figure to remain the same, off the field Craddock plans to increase on an already visible leadership role.

    "I've been a leader since I got here, but I think it's more of a role for me now because the team basically looks up to me," Craddock said Tuesday after practice. "When we're down, they are going to look at me to see what I'm going to do. If my head is down, then their heads are going to be down. So I've got to keep a positive attitude so that my teammates stay positive."

    Although the team comes first, Craddock does hope to surpass his junior season statistics.

    "I just want to top what I did last year," said Craddock. "I want to make no mistakes, no fumbles, no nothing."

    In early March, Craddock verbally committed to the Tar Heels during their junior day. Since then he's maintained it's a "soft" commitment, as he plans to visit other schools.

    Recently, though, Craddock's focus hasn't been on recruiting.

    "We haven't talked about it at all," said Davis. "We let it go in the spring and let him concentrate on his academics. We talked about it before; we just wanted him to make sure that's where he wanted to be.

    "He committed to Carolina, and he thought that was the place to be. After we talked, he said ‘Well, maybe I do want to see some other places.'"

    Craddock doesn't foresee a de-commitment in the future, but says taking a handful of visits to other schools is harmless.

    "I'm not saying I'm going to change my mind, it's just I'm still looking around – keeping my options open," said Craddock. "I'm just visiting basically. My decision is made, but my coach just wanted me to keep my options open. Going on visits won't hurt. It's just a visit."

    Already, Craddock has unofficially visited Auburn and N.C. State, and plans to attend games at Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Georgia Tech during the football season.

    If Craddock does sign with the Tar Heels come February, UNC will be adding a very athletic linebacker to their roster.

    "He's just so fast and explosive," said Davis. "He can run, he's explosive, he looks like a man amongst boys. He's a man-child; he's formidable to take on each and every week."

    A four-star prospect, Craddock is the 21st-ranked linebacker in the nation by

    During his junior season, Craddock earned all-county and all-conference honors for his play at both tailback and linebacker. On offense, Craddock rushed 143 times for 1,070 yards [7.4-yard average] and ten touchdowns.

    Albert Craddock

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