Craddock Not Commenting

When asked last Friday night about the possibility of a coaching change, UNC commitment Albert Craddock said he would remain committed to the Tar Heels.

"It would depend on what the new coach would think about," said Craddock following a 35-14 rout of Pfafftown (N.C.) Reagan last weekend. "If he still wanted me, then hey I'm going to stay at Carolina. But if he thought otherwise, then I'm going to have to start searching somewhere else."

But three days after North Carolina announced that John Bunting would be relieved of his head coaching duties, Craddock is still too disappointed to do interviews.

"He's wondering what's going to happen and wants to take a wait and see attitude," said Craddock's mother, Inaell. "Basically, he is upset about the firing of Coach Bunting, because he committed to Carolina because of the coaching staff."

Craddock, a 6-foot-2 200-pound linebacker from High Point (N.C.) Southwest Guilford, won't address the status of his verbal commitment at all.

"He doesn't want to comment, right now," she said. "He wants to take some time and take a new focus and decide where he wants to go. He still loves Carolina."

One thing Craddock will be waiting to see is the fate of his recruiting contact, Marvin Sanders, and potential position coach, Tommy Thigpen.

"He's concerned if Coach Sanders and Coach Thigpen are going to be able to remain," said his mother. "I think a lot of the other guys are looking at that, also."

Craddock verbally committed to North Carolina while in Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels' junior day in March. However, for much of his recruitment, hiss commitment has been viewed as soft, but he has never truly considered any other school.

In prior interviews, Craddock stated that he possessed scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Auburn, South Carolina, North Carolina, and N.C. State.

During his high school season, Craddock's responsibilities on Southwest Guilford has increased to kick returner, punt returner, wide receiver, tailback, and punter, in addition to his fullback and linebacker duties.

"My coach just knew we had to make changes, as the season goes on you have to make changes to get better," said Craddock. "Our kicker wasn't punting very well last week, so I said ‘Hey coach, let me try to kick the ball.' I started kicking in practice and he liked it.

"And [putting me] at wide receiver and different positions in the backfield, it was to throw them off, because they key on me."

While in these different positions, Craddock could see the ball, but is mostly used as bait.

"Teams, they key on me, they say ‘Watch 44,'" said Craddock. "So, [my coach] uses me as a decoy to get the crowd on me and run [the play] a different way. It also gives other players some good looks."

The new strategy has decreased Craddock's offensive production.

"It bothered me a little bit, but it's something you've got to live through," said Craddock. "Things happen like that. As long as it's helping your team, you've got to go through it."

With Craddock playing just about everywhere, Southwest Guilford is off to a 5-4 start. In last Friday's win over Reagan, Craddock recorded five tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.

This Friday, Craddock and his Southwest teammates travel crosstown to play rival High Point (N.C.) Andrews.

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