The Florida A&M Rattlers announced their 2013 class of signees Wednesday afternoon.
This is head coach Earl Holmes’ first recruiting class. He expressed how excited he is about what this class of athletes can bring to FAMU football and its fans.
“Recruiting is the lifeline of any program,” Holmes said. “I think you’re all going to be very happy with this year’s new recruits.”
The coaching staff brought in 20 recruits, including eight players on offense and 12 on defense. But the focus was to bring in bigger players who can make a difference.
“It’s not a kid’s size, it’s the size of his heart that matters,” Holmes said. “But there are advantages to getting the bigger guys, which is what we targeted.”
Victor Love, from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, will be a key recruit to watch for. Holmes referred to Love, a 6-foot-5 receiver, as a “big body kid” who can catch the deep ball.
Interim Sports Information Director Vaughn Wilson highlighted Keonte Cash, a 6-foot, 300-pound fullback from Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami. Wilson said Cash was his favorite recruit and feels that Cash is “everything they were missing.”
“We lost five games last year by seven points,” Wilson said. “Most of it came down to a last-quarter drive in the red zone. We got all the way down there and we couldn’t punch it in because we didn’t have a big bruising back.”
Holmes said reaching out to local talent was a priority. The Rattlers signed five recruits from Tallahassee and two from Quincy.
Holmes was excited about bringing in Brian Denmark, an athlete from Rickards High School.
Luke Helms, a 225-pound linebacker from Godby High School, was recruited by multiple teams in the Southeastern Conference but decided to commit to FAMU as well.
Craig Mackey, who recorded 26 tackles and 11 pass breakups last season as a senior defensive back at Rickards High School, was sought after by many teams. He and his father, Ronnie Mackey Sr., decided FAMU was the right place for the Mackey to be.
“We expect him to come [to FAMU] because we know he’ll get a quality education,” Mackey Sr. said. “He had quite a few offers in other places. But everywhere we looked, it always brought us back here.”
Holmes gave credit to his staff for the talented group of individuals they were able to bring in.