"This game has featured some of the NFL's greatest players such as Richard Dent and Ed "Too Tall" Jones of Tennessee State and Bob Hayes and Willie Galimore of FAMU. It is truly an honor for me and FAMU to renew such a historic rivalry," Taylor said.
The meeting gathered representatives from both FAMU and Tennessee State to promote the 14th Annual John Merritt Classic (JMC). The Classic is named after legendary TSU Football Coach John Merritt, who served as the Tigers' head coach from 1963 to 1983.
The JMC panel featured Tennessee State's Athletic Director Teresa Phillips, TSU Head Football Coach Rod Reed; FAMU's Assistant Sports Information Director Ronnie Johnson and Taylor. The event was hosted by former Nashville Channel 5 Sports Director Hope Hines. Other dignitaries in attendance included Tennessee State University interim president, Dr. Portia Shields and the Ohio Valley Commissioner, Beth DeBauche.
The Rattlers and Tigers will square off in the John Merritt Classic on Sat., Sept. 1 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CST.
TSU currently leads the series 24-26 with the Tigers winning the 2010 meeting 29-18 in the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic in Atlanta, Ga. FAMU has won the last nine of the 11 meetings with the Rattlers winning eight straight in the AFC (2002-2009).
In 1978, FAMU won the NCAA FCS Division I-AA National Championship with the Rattlers finishing the season 12-1, with FAMU's only loss of the season resulting in a 24-21 defeat to TSU snapping the Rattlers' 17-game win streak, which at the time was the longest in DI football.
To purchase tickets for the 14th Annual John Merritt Class, you can contact the FAMU ticket office at 850-599-3141 or visit the John Merritt website at www. http://merrittclassic.com/