TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Apr. 15) – Coach Alex Wood took his football team through its final scrimmage of the spring in the annual “Orange & Green Game.” In an unusual twist to the game, it was not the first string against the second string. The players had a draft during the week and players were divided up solely on the draft. After four periods of play, Wood needed to see a little more as he took the team through several situational segments after the fourth quarter concluded. In the end, it was all about the orange team that won by a score of 28-0.
Head coach Alex Wood had many positive things to come out of spring practice. “Today was unbelievable. It was a great turnout, great weather and a very interesting dynamic on the field with the teams drafting players. It turned out to be interesting. It was not quite as competitive in the first half as we wanted it to be. But, the second half they kind of turned it around a little bit and made it exciting. I think the fans enjoyed this. We needed this. We’ve been practicing at 6:00 in the morning, so we needed to get the players out in some different conditions,” Wood said.
While Ryan Stanley, the team’s projected starter, was not able to establish continuity with his squad; backup quarterback Vincent Jefferies thrived in the game. He threw three two touchdown passes, while third string quarterback Tahj Tolbert threw one.
While no official statistics were kept, several players had notable performances. Tight end Desmond Noird caught five passes, including a touchdown in the end zone. Noird was pleased to get work with the mixed squad. “ We always need work with multiple quarterbacks so it was good to do that today. I’m just running my routes trying to get open and letting the quarterback sees me. We’ve been working hard all spring and I’m happy that the work has not only paid off, but be on display in front of this crowd,” Noird said.
Defensively, Calvin Danville and Elijah Price proved that they can be one of the top defensive line duos in the country. Danville carded two sacks while Price had several tackles-for-loss to his credit. The linebacking corps showed stability and the secondary was solid as well.
Darville expects this to translate to a successful season. “I just wanted to come out and play hard and have fun. This is our first spring game in a while so I just wanted to compete and let the fans see and know what we’re going to bring out for the next season. We were ready to get out there and compete. We’ve had two scrimmages the past week and we were just ready to compete. We’ve been talking all week about who was going to win…who made the better choices. It was definitely good to see my team win,” Danville said.
In the third phase, redshirt freshman kicker Khalil Clark impressed in his debut. He is known for his kicking abilities, but he also had three punts with good hang time, which were over 50 yards each. He was also perfect on PATs. The YouTube sensation is known for his published video his senior season at Lincoln High School, where he spun a football to an upright position and kicked it through the uprights. Clark will be depended upon to bring stability to the special teams after the departure of kicker/punter Colby Blanton.
A crowd announced at 4,366 took in the “Orange & Green Game” with tailgating going on at the game and plenty of festivities surrounding the game including a DJ.
The Rattlers will open fall camp in July as they prepare for their season opener at home on Aug. 26 in the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic. The Rattlers will face Texas Southern University in the classic, in a game televised on ESPNU. They will follow that in five days with a Thursday night game in Little Rock, AK against the Razorbacks of Arkansas of the SEC. The game will be in War Memorial Stadium and also televised live on ESPN. After a week off, the Rattlers head to Raymon James Stadium to take on the “Big Blue” Tigers of Tennessee State in the FAMU Tampa Classic.
Season ticket packages are available at the FAMU Ticket office. Investing in Champions packages allow added value with investment in the department above the cost of just tickets. For more information on how to get plugged in, visit http://www.FAMUBuildingChampions.com or call (850)599-3141 for more information.