Craddock May Sit Out Shrine Bowl

ROEBUCK, S.C. -- After spending the first two days on the mend, Albert Craddock has been cleared to practice with North Carolina's Shrine Bowl squad. However, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker is still inactive and may have to sit out the Shrine Bowl on Saturday.

"I finally asked if there was any way if my ankle feels better during the week that I could get back in," said Craddock. "They were like, ‘Yeah, but you have to go through therapy.'

"By that time they had already brought in Sam Battle. You can only have 44 players on the roster, and with me being out and him coming in, I'd be the 45th person. But, he got hurt and I got cleared so basically right now I'm just waiting to see if he can come back and play. If he can't come back and play, then I can get my spot back."

Craddock sustained a high ankle sprain during High Point (N.C.) Southwest Guilford's first round playoff bout against Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley.

"When I came down [for the Shrine Bowl], I had to go through some test and I couldn't pass them so they took me to get x-rays," said Craddock. "I [still] had a high ankle sprain.

"They didn't want me to risk any chance of me hurting it worse than it already was in front of all these coaches so they thought that the best decision was for me to sit out."

Obviously, Craddock is frustrated by the situation as he's itching to get out on the field in what was supposed to be his last game of his high school career.

"It's hard to just sit out here and watch everybody get to play and practice, and I have to watch," said Craddock. "It's kind of hard, but I got to get through it. I'm praying and hoping that everything will go well and maybe I can come back on the field and help the team."

Craddock, who verbally committed to North Carolina in March, received his first opportunity to meet UNC's newly hired head football coach Butch Davis 10 days ago.

"I came to the [UNC] girls' basketball game against Tennessee," said Craddock. "I had a meeting with him.

"When I first saw him I was like ‘Man, this guy's big.' He's intimidating, but he's real cool. When I came in he greeted me very well. We just sat down and had a good conversation. My family loved him."

Davis and Craddock spoke one-on-one for approximately 30 minutes.

"Basically, [he talked about] what he expects from all the players – staying on task and doing what you got to do," said Craddock. "He expects the best out of all of his players and he'll do anything that he can to help his players out. He wants all his players to be the best that they can be."

Just like the previous staff, Davis plans to plug Craddock in at inside linebacker.

Firm in his pledge to UNC, Craddock isn't interested in any other school.

"[My commitment] is still solid," said Craddock. "I'm going to stay with Carolina. I've always been a Carolina fan and nothing will change no matter what coach is there."

Craddock will take his lone official visit to North Carolina on January 19th.

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