After a long, hard-fought football season, the Florida A&M University football team (7-4 overall, 5-3 MEAC) is proud to have seven Rattlers named to the MEAC all-conference team.Seniors Daniel Parrish and Roosevelt Kiser, junior Wesley Taylor and redshirt sophomore Jason Beach were the four Rattlers named to the All-MEAC first team. Redshirt junior Albert Chester II, junior Tyrone McGriff and redshirt sophomore Vernon Wilder were awarded with second team selections. The Rattler football team had a balanced attack both offensively and defensively this season, which is evident in the distribution of Rattlers who made both of the MEAC all-star teams.
“This year, coach Carter focused on team unity,” Beach said. “When the defense was on the field, the offense cheered us on, and when the offense was on the field, we cheered them on. It felt good to be part of a team.”
Beach was named to the MEAC all-conference first team for his defensive prowess on the field. He finished the season with 70 tackles and four interceptions. Beach said he went into this season with high expectations and was already looking forward to making the MEAC all-conference team.
“I expected to do that,” he said. “Now step two is to better myself and go on from there.”
The Rattlers will have to cope with the departure of seniors Kiser and Parrish next season. Although their leadership will be missed, the Rattlers can find comfort in the five returning players who were named to the all-conference teams as well.
“It is very encouraging,” Beach said. “We know we will be better after getting a year of experience. After the classic we said we have to win the MEAC next year.”
Kiser was named to both the first and second All-MEAC teams for his offensive and special teams play. He earned first team honors after gaining 821 yards on kick returns and earned second team honors for being an efficient wide receiver with 647 total receiving yards. He finished the season with 1,692 total yards.
“I wanted to make first team in the season,” Kiser said. “As long as I made it, I am happy. But I wish both of them would have been first team honors.”
Kiser said a good work ethic and good coaching had a lot to do with his success.
“I work really hard,” Kiser said. “My work ethic attributes to my success, and my position coach had a big impact on my game,” said Kiser about first year wide receivers coach Gary Harrell.
The senior leadership of Parrish, an offensive tackle, was much needed on a young offensive line. Parrish’s work on a formidable Rattler pass protection all season earned him a spot on the MEAC all-conference first team. As an offensive lineman, Parrish is the only representative for the Rattler’s offense on the MEAC all-conference first team. Parrish said much of his success came from dedication on and before game day.
“It was communication,” he said. “We practice hard. We strived to be in the top ten for sacks given up in the NCAA.”
Parrish, who was injured last year, is appreciative for his first-team honors this season.
“I am very grateful and I am also blessed,” Parrish said. “I would call it a blessing to be able to be healthy all season with no injury, to play in every game and to be able to dominate at a high level of football.”