The photograph shows a young boy with a huge smile posing with NFL veteran and Bishop Hendricken All-American Will Blackmon. The 9-year-old boy is holding a plaque he had just received for winning the Fastest Man Award at Blackmon’s annual youth camp.
Now 17, Myles Craddock is still the fastest man on the field.
The 5 ’10, 185 pound Moses Brown junior has emerged this season as one of the top football players in the state and has been an instrumental part of Moses Brown’s unbeaten season.
Craddock’s season has been a highlight reel. The lightning speed that earned him the Fastest Man award at the Blackmon Camp more than half a dozen years ago, has increased and been on display all season.
Craddock leads the state in rushing and touchdowns with 19 – including five in one game against Johnston. At least twice he has had three TDs in a single game. He has more than 1250 yards with at least one more game remaining.
“He’s pretty impressive.” said Moses Brown football coach Vin Ucci. “He’s fast. You don’t realize how fast he is right away. He has a second gear and gradually gets quicker. He just takes off and separates himself from the competition as he keeps going.. His speed is second to none….We run a team sprint before every game and Myles has won every single one.”
He is a two-way player, who also plays defense. In fact, with a small, 24 man-roster, Craddock never comes off the field. He’s a 48 minute player.
“His defense is awesome,’ said Ucci. “As a free safety on the backend, he’s unreal. It’s uncanny how good he is back there. He plays special teams. He’s our punter. He does everything.”
“Seeing Myles thriving makes me happy because that is the sole reason why we have our free football camp. I can’t wait to see the rest of Myles’ journey,” said Blackmon.
Craddock has caught the attention of QB Universe’s Kyle Rowley, who trains MB junior quarterback Luke Porcaro.
“Craddock’s physical ability is undeniable. He can get to the edge with the best of them but he’s also a fighter and knows when to put his head down and fight for extra yards in the middle. He’s extremely aggressive at DB the way he attacks and tackles,” said Rowley. “When I watch him I think, that is a guy that knows how to finish plays on both sides of the ball.”
The journey really began just last year when Craddock was a sophomore .
“Freshman year was tricky,” he remembers, “because we only had two games because of Covid. It was a really hard year to get introduced to high school football, Sophomore year was really good. I really got to experience the speed and atmosphere of high school football.”
He adjusted quickly. In his first full year playing high school football, Craddock scored 8 touchdowns and racked up over 1,000 yards.
“I had a good season, but nowhere close to this year,” said Craddock. “I’ve made a drastic improvement. I don’t think people understand how much work I put in in the offseason.”
He lifts, focuses on improving his footwork and trains at Next Level Fitness in Johnston. Craddock also spent the summer attending showcases and camps where he put his skills to the test against the top high school players in the country. At the FBU Football Top Gun Camp in Florida, Craddock was named the Gatorade Player of the Camp.
“I did a lot of those (camps) and that really widened my view and gave me a lot of confidence,” said Craddock.
He returned to the field in the fall bigger, stronger and full of confidence.
“I brought that confidence back with me to the (Moses Brown) team and everyone (started) playing at a higher level.“
He prefers to talk more about his teammates than his own personal success.
“We’ve learned a lot from each other and have helped each other,” he said. “(We have) a really good system. Ryan Anderson has been a huge part of our winning streak. He’s been a big part of our team. Without him and a couple of other players, we wouldn’t be where we were right now.”
With typically less than 25 players dressed on Saturdays, Moses Brown may just have the smallest roster in the state.
“We walk into every game knowing we might be small, but we have a really big heart. Our coaches always tell us there may be 11 people on the field, but it’s always one heart as a team,” said Craddock. “We go out there and play together with the underdog mentality and that’s the way we’ve been playing the whole year.”
“What this team lacks in numbers they make up for in heart,” said Ucci. “This group is really unbelievable.”
His desire to excel on the field is equally matched by his determination to perform as well in the classroom. Craddock, who holds a 3.8 GPA, has his sights set on playing football at an Ivy League school after he graduates from Moses Brown in 2024.
“In my house, academics comes first, Football is great and it teaches a lot of life lessons, but academics always comes first,” said Craddock.
He has started to gain attention beyond the confines of Rhode Island, too, and will have the chance to showcase his talents in front of college coaches across the county in January when Craddock attends the 2023 National Combine in San Antonio, Texas.
“When the (high school) season comes to a close, I will start to prepare and get ready for the combine,” said Craddock.
“Myles is a Division I athlete….definitely. He’s only a junior. He’s only going to get bigger and better. Myles has the old fashioned values of hard work, second effort, loyalty and love. He’s a complete throwback,” said Ucci. “He’s a phenomenal football player, but he’s a better person. He’s humble, respectful, builds kids up and leads by example. He’s a great, great kid.”