By Kyle Yager, Staff Writer —
UTC senior All-American running back Derrick Craine has been adjusting to life after Chattanooga football. This is the first time the standout running back hasn’t had team responsibilities in many years.
Craine was honored for winning the A.C. “Scrappy” Moore Award on Saturday, Feb. 25 at halftime of the men’s basketball game. The Scrappy Moore Award is presented to a current UTC student-athlete who best personifies the athletic department’s mission of equipping for success, in the classroom, in competition and in the community.
“Very exciting,” said Craine about winning the award. “I was honored to receive the award presented by the Scappy Moore family.”
Even with his Chattanooga football days coming to an end, Craine has maintained his very committed mentality that has been instrumental in his successful career at UTC.
“My mindset is now training for the NFL,” Craine said. “To continue to push myself everyday to be the best athlete and player I can be.”
This is the first time since his arrival at UTC that Craine hasn’t participated in spring training with the team. Especially considering that he won’t graduate for a few more months, it’s unusual for Craine to be around the team without being actively involved.
“It is weird not training with the team,” said Craine. “Now I’m training for pro day, still at UTC with coach Ron Dickson. It’s weird because I’m still in the weight room working out but not as a player or with the team. At times I still want to go workout with the team but now I have my own focus and goals to work on.”
Craine’s UTC career as a whole is coming to an inevitable end, as he will be graduating in spring. Even after acquiring his Bachelor’s degree, it won’t be the end of his time as a student.
“Post graduation, I’m planning on taking some more pre-req courses for graduate school and then hopefully attending PA grad school,” said Craine.
With Craine still being affiliated with the UTC football team, he has had an opportunity to encounter the new coaching staff. Through his exposure he has formed a positive impression of UTC’s new head football coach Tom Arth.
“I think coach Tom Arth is great,” said Craine. “I love being around him and the other coaches. All the players I think love him too and I think he will have a lot of success at UTC. I think there’s a lot that I and the current players can learn from him and grow not only as players, but men.”
While Craine trains for the NFL, his fellow former UTC football teammates, Keionta Davis and Corey Levin, were both invited to the NFL combine. They were both standouts at their respective positions over their careers at UTC, and it will interesting to see when each are selected in the NFL draft.
“I love seeing Corey and KD at the combine,” said Craine about his former teammates. “They worked incredibly hard to get where they are and it shows with their numbers. They pushed me just as hard as I pushed them to have a successful career at UTC and I wish the best for them. Both of them will do great things at the next level.”
*Photo by Chad Pasinger