TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 12) – The Florida A&M football team had their best scrimmage of camp, led by quarterback Ryan Stanley. While the FAMU defensive unit continues to provide a stingy front, the first string offense broke the scoring with a long pass from Stanley to a streaking Marcus Williams. The beginning of what looks to be a more balanced team, still led by it’s defense, but with signs of explosiveness on offense, is just what head coach Alex Wood needed to see.
“We did some good things today on both sides of the ball. Obviously, our defense is just a little ahead of the offense at this point, but the offensive unit is beginning to show the signs of getting in sync and that’s exciting,” Wood said.
The veteran defensive ends continue to press the No.1 offense. Wood continues to pit the No.1 offense against the No.1 defense. While Calvin Darville and Elijah Price are arguably the best defensive end tandem in the conference, the offensive line is finding ways to solve them at times. Antonio Miller comes in as the third defensive end with a burst of pursuit hard to defend by any of the teams the Rattlers faced last year.
Miller feels the defense is gelling well in getting prepared for this season. “We’re coming out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to get to the ball. We’re trying to shut down the run and force teams to pass. We feel we have the defensive backs to win that game and the ends that can get to the quarterback,” Miller said.
With exactly two weeks to the kickoff of the 2017 season, Stanley is eager to get to the first game. “We’re kind of tired of hitting one another. We are ready to play someone else, we’re ready for the season to start. Coming out for our third scrimmage you could see a big difference offensively. Across the board we’re getting our assignments down. As a whole we did a good job. Defense did a good job today too. We had a good hot day today and we took advantage of it,” Stanley said.
Special teams showed improvement as well as redshirt freshman Kalil Clark is proving that he is the man to beat as placekicker. The competition to replace All-MEAC punter Colby Blanton is still wide open as Clark joins three others competing for that position.
The Rattlers will open the season Aug. 26 against the Texas Southern Tigers in a 12 noon start. The game is designated as the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.
The Rattlers will make an appearance at two events that have been combined into one. The Rattler Booster Kickoff and Fan Day have been combined into one big event this year. On Sunday, Aug.20, the Rattler Boosters will host their annual kickoff at the Al Lawson Center at 2PM. Tickets are $25 and include lunch. Patrons of the kickoff will be first in line to get autographs from the football team when doors open at 4PM for the general public for Fan Day, which is free of charge. The Rattler volleyball team will also be on hand to sign their posters as they prepare for the opening of their season.