Top 5 most important players for Maryland football

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Nov 1, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Maryland Terrapins place kicker Brad Craddock (15) kicks an extra point against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium. Maryland defeated Penn State 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 Brad Craddock

It’s rare that a placekicker is tabbed as one of the key components to a team’s success on the gridiron.

However, Brad Craddock is no ordinary kicker.

Craddock is coming off a season in which he took home the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the top kicker in the country. The Australia native connected on 18-of-19 field goals with the lone miss coming in the regular season finale against Rutgers (54-yard attempt). In five of those games, Craddock hit multiple field goals. He also made a pair of field goals from 50-plus yards, including a 57-yarder against Ohio State and a 50-yarder against Rutgers.

With likely starting quarterback Caleb Rowe undergoing his first full season under center, the offense may be stagnant at times. With an insurance policy like Craddock kicking the field goals, Maryland will have an opportunity to put points on the board on most drives where they enter the opponent’s 40-yard line.