Jeremiah Criddell ready to be key player for Rancho Cucamonga

Defensive back Jeremiah Criddell didn’t play a lot for the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars last season. It wasn’t because of a lack of talent, it was the embarrassment of riches coach Nick Baiz had at that position and Criddell was just a sophomore.

Well with five athletes from the secondary having graduated, four of whom moved on to Division I schools, Criddell will get his turn in a staring role this season for a Rancho Cucamonga team looking to defend it’s Baseline League title.

He is proof you can land attention from major colleges without being a full-time starter. Of course Criddell, a 6-foot-1, 185 pounder, has done all the right things in the off-season to get that attention.

He now has 14 major college offers and the list is growing. Of those 14, nine are from Pac-12 schools with USC and UCLA included in that lot. Among the others are Nebraska and Alabama.

He has made unofficial trips to USC, UCLA, Washington and Alabama.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and showing people what I can do,” he said. “Of course everyone likes to play but when you’re not you still have try and get better and challenge yourself so you’re ready when they call on you.”

Baiz is confident Criddell will rise to the challenge.

“We always knew the kind of player he is,” Baiz said. “He just had a lot of guys ahead of him. He probably would have started for any other school last year. It’s always frustrating for those guys but he’s only a junior and he knew he was going to be the guy this year.”


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