Category Archives: FAMU Football

Sports Brief: FAMU vs. Hampton

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Today, FAMU (2-5) will travel to Hampton, Va. to play conference rival Hampton University (4-2). 4 p.m.

FAMU is coming off a heart-wrenching homecoming lost to North Carolina A&T and Hampton is riding high on top of a two-game win streak over Norfolk State and Savannah State.

FAMU’s passing attack will be tested early and often against Hampton’s suffocating secondary. The Pirates defense boasts a staggering 170 yards allowed through the air per game. This may trouble FAMU who averages, the majority of their yards through the air, with 190 per game.

Through six games, Hampton’s defense has given up 3,162 yards on the ground, which may serve as something FAMU can exploit in the game.

On the flip side, FAMU’s Achilles heel is their lackluster rush defense who has given up 1,230 yards. Opponents average155 yards per game on the ground against the Rattlers.

 

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a devastating loss on its homecoming, the Florida A&M Rattlers football team is on a three-game losing streak.

In his weekly press conference, FAMU head coach Alex Wood would only take questions about the team’s next game against Hampton University.

Defense remains the same

Throughout the Alex Wood era, the best part of his team has always been his tough and rugged defense.

This year, the FAMU defense ranks in the top-50 in the FCS in the following categories: #No. 10 in Pass Defense, #No. 27 in Total Defense, #No. 33 in Pass Efficiency Defense and #No. in Red Zone Defense.

“We just are playing better, and playing more inspired defense,” Wood said. “I think our personnel is a little bit older, stronger, faster, and more explosive. Our guys are playing hard. Defensive coaches are doing a good job implementing schemes that are geared towards stopping the opponents.”

Despite the high praise, Wood said his team still needs to work on stopping the run.

“We said that we wanted to stop the run, but we are not quite there yet.”

Stanley’s Progress

In the middle of season, quarterback Ryan Stanley, a redshirt freshman, has struggled with turnovers. He has thrown five interceptions midway through the season.

Facing Another Giant

Hampton is 3-0 in the MEAC. This will be the second week in a row the Rattlers face a team with a winning record.

“We got some common opponents, and different results,” Wood said. “It will be tough up there. We are really looking for to the matchup.”

Hampton averages 20.4 points per game and runs the spreads offense. He credits a big portion of that to the Pirates’ offensive line.

“They have bigger and thicker guys up front, and then zone you up defensively,” Wood said.” The running back gets behind them and pops out because no one can find him.”

Defensively, Hampton runs an efficient zone defense and only allows 18.2 points per game.

 

 

 

 

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Underdog?

Some of the greatest sports stories came from a single person or a team, it is these underdogs that have shaped the sports world one at a time.

Florida A&M is in the position of the underdog against one of the top-ranked Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams in the nation.

The Rattlers have had to tolerate losing to North Carolina in back-to-back years during the Alex Wood era.

Numbers Don’t Lie  

Florida A&M is currently on a two-game losing streak.  The overall concern with the team is the penalties and turnovers, and Wood called the performance “very frustrating”.

North Carolina A&T is undefeated, with three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victories against Morgan State, South Carolina State, and Delaware State.

One positive that has come during the losing streak is the rushing game.  The Rattler offense finished with 250 yards on the ground on Saturday against Norfolk State, the most since 2012.

“We had a good plan,” Wood said. “The kids executed that phase of the plan really well. Our offensive line did a good job of securing the line of scrimmage to create lanes for the runners to run in. Those guys did a good job getting yards after contact.”

Coach Wood hopes that this performance will continue against a North Carolina A&T defense who allow 10.2 points per game. North Carolina A&T’s well-balanced offense averages 41.7 points per game.

The positive for this underdog Rattler team is Wood has won every homecoming game thus far.

Injuries

LB Emillo Gibbs and RB Ricky Henrilus will return for the game against North Carolina A&T. The two missed Norfolk State game due to injury.

FAMU Football Update

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University Rattlers football team began their season with a win over Texas Southern, 29-7, but have struggled to secure many wins since.

With an average score of 18.5 points per game, the Rattlers hold a 2-4 Overall record and a 1-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference record. They defeated Texas Southern and Savannah State. Last season, FAMU held its best record since 2012, ending the season 4-7.

Quarterback Ryan Stanley has completed 103 of his 161 passing attempts this season, averaging 212.8 passing yards per game. Running back Devin Bowers leads the team in rushing, averaging 68.3 yards per game on the ground.

In the Rattlers upcoming game, they will face the North Carolina A&T Aggies for their homecoming game in Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday, kickoff at 3 p.m.

Column: Is this the new FAMU football team?

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – You know, I can’t remember the last time Florida A&M’s football team drove down the field into their opponents redzone on its first three drives. Then again, I can’t remember the last time the Rattler’s defense suffocated a team into submission by halftime. Or at least I couldn’t remember.

Head coach Alex Woods and the Rattlers did both on Saturday. The team was both efficient on offense and stingy on defense for their noon kickoff against Texas Southern University.  It resulted in a pretty convincing 29-7 victory for FAMU in its first home opener since 2011.

Calvin Sykes | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
Vincent Jefferies carries the ball into the end zone during the third quarter of Florida A&M’s season opener. The Rattlers won 29-7.

FAMU’s opening drive started off promising. Behind a good mix of passing and running plays, the Rattlers marched down the field only to miss a relatively short field goal attempt. Of course, everyone was thinking the same thinking the same thing at this point: “You have to make those count. You never know how many chances they’ll have in the red zone.”

The answer was several.

In fact, the team got into the red zone on each of its first three possessions. Devin Bowers and Ricky Henrilus were extremely impressive in the game. They were able to give FAMU a solid ground game as a change of pace option. It looked like the type of dual-back tandem the team can lean on going forward. Bowers ended the game with 41 yards on 15 carries, while Henrilus had 14 carries for 81 yards. The team ended with 193 total yards on the ground.

The Rattler’s next drive was also a thing of beauty. Back-to-back spectacular runs after the catch by Marcus Williams, the redshirt sophomore out of Miami, set up a nine-yard QB keeper for a touchdown by Ryan Stanley. 

Let’s pause for a second and talk about Mr. Stanley, or as he will now be known, Sunshine.

 

 

 

Stanley was an absolute monster in this game, finishing 19-32 for 214 yards and a touchdown. He also had three rushes for 21 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t just his numbers that were impressive, it was his general command of every situation presented to him on the field. It led to some interesting notions about a certain end of the year award.

 

His performance was only outshined by his hair, which reminded me of Billy Ray Cyrus a little.

The Rattlers’ hurry-up offense kept Texas Southern off balance every time they went to it. FAMU looked like a well-oiled machine throughout the first two quarters. TSU players, however, were gassed by the end of the half. They were a team that was beaten and knew it. 

FAMU’s defense played a big role in that feeling of helplessness. Although TSU accounted for 202 yards on offense, they struggled for everyone. The Tigers didn’t cross midfield until the fourth quarter with FAMU up four scores. The Rattler defense only allowed 62 rushing yards on 18 carries and 140 passing yards. They also came away with three sacks and an interception on the day.

The Tigers lone touchdown, a 30-yard hookup between quarterback Jay Christophe to Darvin Kirby, came when the game was already out of reach. 

FAMU needed all the momentum they could gather heading into Thursday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday. This was a surefire way to gain some of that confidence. We’ll just have to see if they can keep it up all season. But for now, job well done Rattlers.

Famu offense and defense strikes early

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Reporter (@CSykesSportsU on twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – In the first season opener since 2011, Florida A&M faced Texas Southern at noon in the Jake Gaither Classic at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Rattlers defeated the Tigers 29-7 in front of 15,401 fans.

The Rattlers opened their first offensive drive moving the ball downfield easily but came away with no points after a missed field goal.

“We missed on the first opportunity to score,” Head coach Alex Wood said. “We got down and drove the ball on the first drive. I was disappointed that we didn’t get something out of that.”

The first points of the game came off of Florida A&M’s quarterback Ryan Stanley’s legs. Stanley scored on a nine- yard rushing touchdown to give the Rattlers a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

The quick success of Stanley against Texas Southern sent the twitter world in a frenzy, being touted as a Heisman hopeful and recognized for scoring the first touchdown of the NCAA football season. Stanley was applauded as the first person to score a touchdown in the 2017 college football season as well as his stylish hair.

 


 

FAMU defense forced TSU to punts on the first two drives and held the Tigers in check through the majority of the game. FAMU only allowed 14 yards throughout the first quarter.

Orlando Mckinely attributes the knowledge of the system on defense for the early success.

“We know the system, and we’ve been in the system for three years,” said McKinely. For the most part, we are veterans and we understand what’s going on.

After Stanley’s rushing touchdown, the Rattlers would have no trouble keeping the success of the up-tempo offense going. Stanley said the passing game was made easy because of the success the team was having on the ground. The success, he said, was due to the work of running backs coach, Roderick Plummer.

“Our backs did a real good job. Bowers, Rickey Henrilus and some young guys got in and got some good reps,” Stanley said. “Coach Plumber does a good job with our running backs, and not even just the run game but protection too.”

Calvin Sykes | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FAMU’s Ricky Henrilus takes a carry in the third quarter.

Vincent Jefferies, a senior transfer, was brought into the game to run the offense late in the second half, but he did not complete any passes. Jefferies missed on all three of his pass attempts.

“We told Vincent and Ryan both that Vincent was going to play,” Head coach Alex Woo said. “It’s his senior year. It is just not because it’s his senior year. We just don’t give reps just because. He’s earned it, he brings value to the game and his explosiveness. He didn’t create a turnover, and that’s important.”

Jeffries would get a chance to lead the Rattlers to a successful drive in the third quarter. One in which he capped it with a rushing touchdown on a broken play.

On the other hand, Sothern had no success on the offensive side of the ball. Jay Christophe could only connect with his receivers 3 times out of 14 attempts.

“Our quarterback had a tough day,” said Southern Head coach Michael Haywood. “Last year, he went the first game of the year, and he struggled coming back, but everything can be corrected from his mistakes.

Starting the second half down 20 points, Southern’s return man went back into the end zone to take a knee resulting in a safety.

TSU’s only score came off a 35-yard TD from Jay Christophe late in the game.

The Rattlers will face the Arkansas Razorbacks on August 31 at 7 p.m. Central Time.

FAMU Legend Bob Hayes Honored by NFL at Super Bowl LI

 

By: Florida A&M University Sports Information Department 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 17) – Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, undoubtedly the greatest male student-athlete produced by the legendary athletic program at Florida A&M University (FAMU), will be among 28 historically Black college and university (HBCU) gridiron greats to be honored in February by the National Football League (NFL) during the Super Bowl LI festivities in Houston, Texas.

Marcus Joseph | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

In December 2016, the NFL joined with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) at the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia to kick off an enhanced partnership initiative titled, “Strength of HBCUs: Impacting Pro Football Since 1948.”  The goal of the partnership is to celebrate and honor the history and impact HBCUs and their players have had on the game while increasing career opportunities for students and athletic administrators at these institutions.

The NFL announced that its celebration of the influence of HBCUs and their players will continue at this year’s Super Bowl, where it will honor the 28 Pro Football Hall of Fame players who attended HBCUs, culminating with an on-field, pregame ceremony featuring the Hall of Famers at NRG Stadium on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

Hayes was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in July 2009, seven years after his death in September of 2002, at the age of 59. The legendary two-sport Rattler was credited by many with revolutionizing the game of professional football with his world-class sprinter’s speed. In addition to a successful career with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and a stint with the San Francisco 49ers, Hayes was an Olympic gold medalist, and earned the nicknames, “Bullet Bob” and “World’s Fastest Human.”

FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., expressed the University’s appreciation for the NFL’s commitment to HBCUs, and for the unique way it will honor one of the institution’s most beloved sons.

“I commend the NFL for honoring Bob Hayes along with the other well-deserving HBCU greats,” Robinson said. “I look forward to representing FAMU and Rattler sports at one of the world’s most widely viewed athletic events.”

He added, “The University has worked with the NFL on several previous occasions, including our Marching ‘100’s’ performance at Super Bowl XLI with the late music legend, Prince. We look forward to a growing and fruitful relationship with one of the most influential brands in the world.”

In a recent statement, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said, “the HBCU influence on the NFL goes beyond the evolution of the game and reaches deep into the very fabric of football.”

“Our partnership with the HBCUs is an important initiative which celebrates the tremendous legacy fostered by these institutions that continue to contribute a standard of excellence and character for our game,” Vincent said.

23 Recruits are bringing their talent to FAMU

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent (@StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M University’s football team acquired 22 new players on national signing day. 13 of the new signees were defensive players and six will be lining up on offense.

A local signee for FAMU was Rickards High School quarterback D.J. Phillips. Phillips finished his high school career by throwing 5,557 yards with a 69% completion percentage and 45 touchdowns. He also rushed for 10 TD’s with 296 carries for 866 yards.

“I plan on trying to win a MEAC championship and build a winning culture here at Florida A&M and restore everything this program used to be about,” Phillips said.

Another local recruit was North Florida Christian High School cornerback Christopher Jerry. Jerry stands at 5’10” and weighs 170 pounds. He was named Honorable Mention All-Big Bend with 56 tackles, nine pass breakups and one interception.

Chaddrick “Dekovin” Cann Jr. from Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg is listed as an athlete by FAMU. He was known for being a dual-threat signal caller and safety on defense. He played in a pro-style offense in high school. FAMU’s head coach Alex Wood liked the way he plays quarterback, but wants to have him at the safety position for the upcoming season.

Jibreel Hazly, a 6’1” 230-pound linebacker from Akron, Ohio, is a transfer student from Feather River Junior College. Hazly was excited to be at FAMU and is already enrolled in classes this semester and is now a proud Rattler.

Coach Wood and the recruiting staff were proud of the new recruits they acquired. Wood emphasized the importance of finding future leaders for the team and he and his staff believe that they found them with this recruiting class.

The rest of FAMU’s new recruits include:

Kyle Johnson, 6’1” 230 FB Venice high school, Venice, FL

Levon Barnett, 6’0” 180 S William T. Dwyer high school, West Palm Beach, FL

Antwan Lewis 6’4” 290 OT/DT William T. Dwyer high school, Riviera Beach, FL

Louis Neal III 6’2” 255 DE Dixie Hollins high school, St Petersburg, FL

De’Montre Moore 6’3” 275 DT Hutchinson Community College, From Tampa, FL

Christian Roa 6’2” 250 TE Lake Brantley high school, Altamonte Springs, FL

Anthony Jones 6’6” 265 TE Pearl River junior College, New Orleans, LA

Derrick Mayweather 6’2” 227 LB Jireh Prep NC, from Lafayette, La

Jalen Douse 6’2” 180 DB ASA Miami Junior College, Jackson SC

Jacques Penney 6’1” NT Northeast Oklahoma Junior College, Tulsa OK

Steven Jean Baptiste 6’2” 290 OL Chaminade-Madonna, Ft Lauderdale, FL

Ellrie Allen 5’11” 200 S Wesley Chapel high school, Wesley Chapel, FL

Martravious Hardrick 6’2” 2866 DT Mosley high school, Panama City, FL

Chris Faddoul 6’1” 182 P/K Wiregrass Ranch high school, Wesley Chapel, FL

Donovan Hovey-Franklin 6’5” 310 OT Warner Christian Academy, Daytona Beach, FL

Dominique Walker 5’11” 183 CB Central high school, Brookville, FL

Bryan Crawford 6’2” 280 DT Pahokee high school, Pahokee, FL

Emmanuel Yisrael 5’10” 205 LB William T. Dwyer high school, Riviera Beach, FL

Jalen Brayboy 6’4” 283 OL Raines high school, Jacksonville, FL

 

FAMU will start their season with their first opening home game in 10 years at Bragg Memorial Stadium. On Aug. 26, the Rattlers will take on the Texas Southern University Tigers in the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic. The time is still to be determined.

 

Florida A&M releases 2017 Football Schedule

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M Rattlers ended the 2016 football season 4-7 and are bringing the Rattler fans a home season-opening game for the 2017 season. FAMU released their 2017 football schedule Jan. 25 and it opens with a home game for the first time since 2010.

At the start of the season head coach Alex Wood will be entering his third season with the Rattlers. They will open the season on Aug. 26, against Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) rival, Texas Southern University, in the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic in Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The Rattlers will also host several games in Bragg, including against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion Eagles of North Carolina Central on Sept. 30, the North Carolina A&T University Aggies Oct. 14 on Homecoming, and the Bison of Howard University on Nov. 4, in the home finale.

The Rattlers will face seven opponents on the road during the 2017 season, starting Sept. 2 against the Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas. The MEAC opener will be against the Tigers of Savannah State on Sept 23 at Savannah, Georgia. The Rattlers also has a lineup on the road against the Spartans of Norfolk State, the Pirates of Hampton University, and the Bears of Morgan State.

FAMU will also have a match up against Tennessee State University on Sept.16, the location of the game is still in the works.

FAMU will end the regular season with the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic against rival Bethune-Cookman University. A series that began in 1925, is now the largest football game between two historically black colleges in America. The Florida Blue Florida Classic will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Nov. 18.

All start times for games are to be announced later.

2017 FAMU Football Schedule
AUG. 26 TEXAS SOUTHERN Jake Gaither Classic/HOME
Sept. 2 at University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark.
Sept. 16 Tennessee State Site TBD
Sept. 23 at Savannah State* Savannah, Ga.
Sept. 30 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL* HOME
Oct. 7 at Norfolk State* ` Norfolk, Va.
OCT. 14 NORTH CAROLINA A&T* HOMECOMING
Oct. 21 at Hampton University* Hampton, Va.
Oct. 28 at Morgan State* Baltimore, Md.
NOV. 4 HOWARD UNIVERSITY* HOME
Nov. 18 Bethune-Cookman*# Orlando, Fla.

*MEAC Games. #Florida Blue Florida Classic

Home games are in BOLD