Sandra Day O'Connor (Phoenix, AZ) linebacker and 2022 athlete Brandon Craddock has the best of both worlds.
On the field, he's regarded as a leader. He had 108 tackles through eight regular-season games and led a run to the state semifinals in 2020. In the classroom, Craddock has maintained a 4.0 GPA through his first three years of high school.
In an interview with AllSunDevils, Craddock says the value of education is just as valuable as playing football at the collegiate level.
"In our household the priorities are: Faith, Family, Education, Football," said Craddock.
"I know that having a good education will provide me a future after football, so I focus on that as much as I do football."
Craddock was extended a committable offer by Arizona State last week, yet the 6-foot linebacker first knew ASU was a possibility just a couple months ago.
"The first time this became a real possibility was in June at a UNLV camp, where I met coach Bobby Wade and coach Chris Claiborne," said Craddock. "They spoke to me and said they’ve seen everything they want to see, and that I’m high on their board for a PWO (Preferred Walk-on Opportunity)."
What Makes Arizona State Appealing
Craddock, who also received similar offers from Michigan State and Arizona, has plenty of familiarity with the Sun Devils. Craddock's full answer on what he likes about Arizona State:
"My brother attends ASU right now so I've had the chance to see the campus and the area. I’ve attended numerous games and I love the energy during football season. Also, it’s very close to home which is a huge plus. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism is very well known and may be a choice of study for me.
"Another element that attracts me to ASU is the opportunity to play for such an experienced coaching staff. Coaches Wade, Claiborne and (Shawn) Slocum have been transparent with me from the beginning!"
Recruiting specialist and coach Lou Perrone says the Craddock family "bleeds maroon and gold."
"(Coach) Bobby Wade has done an amazing job with trying to get top level in-state talent to stay in state," said Perrone. "I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with these coaches, and Brandon."
Announcement Coming Soon?
Craddock plays on both sides of the ball, also touting the rock for O'Connor as a running back. When asked how he believes his game would translate to the next level, Craddock pointed to his intelligence and habits on the field.
"I think my game will transfer well because of my work ethic and football IQ," said Craddock. "I love to study film and I feel like I have the ability to read and react a lot quicker than most."
So, when will Craddock commit to a school?
"After my visits. I expect to make my verbal commitment, which should be soon," said Craddock.
Craddock's senior campaign will begin Sept. 3 as the Eagles take on the Basha Bears.