News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College Report

February 20, 2011

COLLEGE REPORT: SV'S Craigmyle to play football at Division II Harding

TERRE HAUTE — Harding University knows exactly what it wants in terms of football players to fit Coach Ronnie Huckeba’s system.

South Vermillion’s James Craigmyle knew exactly what he was looking for in a college.

It was a match made in heaven, and the Wildcat speedster will be taking his athleticism to Searcy, Ark., this fall to compete for the Division II school that competes in the Gulf South Conference.

Huckeba runs the Navy-Georgia teach spread offense, which results in his receivers often drawing only single coverage. Craigmyle runs a 4.56 40-yard dash.

Harding is a faith-based school, and Craigmyle is a strongly faith-based person.

“With his work ethic and his fit here regarding his character, it’s a great match,” Huckeba said. “We have a picture of what we are looking for, and he fit it.”

Craigmyle felt very comfortable with the Bison coaches and the entire school atmosphere in making his choice.

“I chose Harding primarily because of the connection I was able to develop with their coaching staff,” he said. “On top of that, they have a great community, run the same offense I’ve ran in high school, and have an opening at wide receiver which is the position they recruited me for.”

Modern technology played a huge role in arranging this football marriage, since Craigmyle would have been easy to overlook at a mid-sized school hundreds of miles away – especially since his statistics suffered due to nagging injuries over his junior and senior years.

Huckeba recalls getting an e-mail about Craigmyle, and checking out his profile on the NCSA college recruiting website.

“He had some video highlights on there, but what stuck out was his profile he mentioned how important his faith was to him,” Huckeba said. “We got in contact with him, and invited him to come to our senior camp last June.  He and his dad came down, got to visit with him and tour his campus.  

“It’s a workout-based camp, and he worked out great for us,” Huckeba added. “He and his family were perfect fits for what we are looking for at Harding.”

Wildcat Coach Ron Whiteman predicts success for Craigmyle at the next level.

“James is an explosive athlete that is a threat to score every time he touches the ball,” he said.

“James is a very intense player, and playing college football has been what he wanted to do and planned out how to do since he started playing in high school,” Whiteman added. “Harding University is getting a very gifted player and great kid, and I look forward to seeing what he will be able to do in college. I know he will do well.”

South Vermillion had an outstanding season during Craigmyle’s junior season, but heavy graduation losses contributed to a 0-10 record last fall.

Huckeba knows a team’s record does not always reflect the value of any individual player.

“They were not able to get the ball to him much last year, which may have made him overlooked,” Huckeba said. “Actually, one of our best wide receivers played for a winless team in high school and he’s been great for us.”

Craigmyle was limited to just 11 games over his final two seasons, missing three during his junior year due to an emergency appendectomy and only playing in two and a half games his senior year due to recurring hamstring injuries.

In his limited appearances, Craigmyle averaged over 32 yards on nine kick-off returns and returned two for a touchdown. In his senior year, he caught seven passes for 86 yards and one score and also rushed 52 times for 330 yards and three TDs.

“James doesn’t show much emotion, but I could tell when he returned from his first visit to Harding that he knew Harding was right for him,” Whiteman said.

Whiteman’s favorite plays by Craigmyle didn’t even involve him having the ball in his hands and came against Brown County two years ago.

“On one play he made the key block for Cody Mumaw on a split end screen to score a touchdown,” Whiteman recalled. “On another play, our quarterback, Andy Walsh, dropped back to pass and was rushed, started to scramble to the side James was on, Walsh started to run down the sideline with a Brown County defensive lineman chasing him, and James peeled back and knocked the defensive lineman chasing Andy head over heels into our sidelines.”

Craigmyle knows he will need to improve upon his physique for the next level, but he’s ready for the challenge.

“I'm hoping I can make the transition to college a little easier by working harder than I ever have over the offseason,” he said. “I'm sure two-a-days there will give me a whole new definition of “tough” and of course everyone at the college level will be bigger, faster, and stronger which equals much harder hits.

“My main goal when I check in for the fall is to make every single one of the upperclassmen there ask themselves, “Who the heck is that freshman and where did he come from?”

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