Joe Craig: The next Jacoby Ford?

by - Senior Writer -

Clemson speedster Jacoby Ford is taking his talent to the next level, but Gaffney’s Joe Craig is one player that might make losing Ford a little easier on Clemson fans.

Craig is the 6-foot-0, 170-pound speedster that has already committed to the Tigers, and he said he thinks his game is much like that of Ford’s – using his speed to create space.

“Just because both of us have speed, not really all that tall, but know how to run routes to get open and use the speed to get into the open field,” Craig said. “A lot of people compare me to him.”

Craig said that he got to sit down with Ford and C.J. Spiller during a recruiting trip, and that he would like to emulate both of them on and off the field.

“I was up there and ate with him [Jacoby] and C.J.,” Craig said. “I wanted to talk to them because they both do track, and that is what I do, and they were telling me about track and football. They are really good guys. Most of the time people that have success like that are cocky and they act like they are better than you. They are just down to earth, and they know that everybody is human just like they are, and they treat everybody with respect.”

Craig, who has been timed at 4.31 in the 40-yard dash, said he was not sure about Clemson in the beginning.

“To be honest, at first I did not think I would choose Clemson,” Craig said. “Then I went down there, and I started thinking about it. I was really thinking about choosing Georgia, but my family loved it there, and the fans are really into football. It is a small town, and closer to home. I wanted to be closer to home, and not be so far off, so that if people want to come watch me play, they can.”

Craig was recruited by Billy Napier to begin with, but when the coaching staff changed, his recruiter was changed to Jeff Scott. However, Craig said head coach Dabo Swinney helped to seal the deal.

“Coach Dabo, that is coolest person I have ever met,” Craig said. “He is one of the reasons I chose Clemson. He is an example of someone who is down to earth, but at the same time, everything is business-like. When my house burned down, they all wrote me and told me they were praying for me and they checked on me. That meant a lot.”

The Gaffney native said he likes what the Clemson offense was able to accomplish this past season, looks forward to getting on the field in Death Valley in the fall, and will do whatever it takes to win.

“If I am on the field, I will block or do whatever as long as I am on the field helping the team win,” Craig said. “When Coach Scott started talking to me about playing time, he said he is not one of those guys that will promise playing time to someone right off the bat. You have to earn your spot if you want to play, so basically I want to go out there when practice comes around and compete for a spot.”

Now, Craig said he is ready to get his Clemson career started and for August to hurry up and arrive.

“I am pretty much excited,” he said. “I have been ready for this since football in high school was over. I have been going to football games and been like ‘Dang, I wish I could put some pads on.’ I hope it goes by quick, because I can’t wait for it.”

2010 Football Commitments

Tavaris Barnes		DT	6-5 240
David Beasley		OL	6-4 290
Victor Beasley		ATH	6-5 215
Bashaud Breeland	ATH	6-1 190
Desmond Brown		DB	6-0 195
Martavis Bryant		WR	6-4 190
Demont Buice		RB	6-2 205
Ricky Chaney		LB	6-3 200
Sam Cooper		TE	6-5 230
Joe Craig		ATH	6-0 170
Corey Crawford		DE	6-5 235
Kalon Davis		OL	6-5 325
DeAndre Hopkins		ATH	6-2 170
Martin Jenkins		DB	5-9 170
Jake Nicolopulos	LB	6-2 220
Garry Peters		DB	6-0 175
Darius Robinson		DB	6-0 170
Tra Thomas		DT	6-1 270
Gifford Timothy		OL	6-6 290
Josh Watson		DT	6-3 285
Reid Webster		OL	6-5 270

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