Florida A&M’s head football Coach Alex Wood met with members of the 220 Quarterback Club to present the newly recruited 2016 class.
The February 10 meeting was held exactly one week after National Signing Day, during the club’s weekly luncheon at New Times Country Buffet on North Monroe Street.
President Eddie Jackson introduced Wood and various members of athletic personnel and spoke briefly about the club’s contributions to the football program.
“We donate $500 a week during the regular season.” Jackson said. “For the academic year of 2014 to 2015, we donated over $37,000 to Florida A&M’s athletics.”
The club was established seven years ago to help diminish the growing deficit in FAMU’s Athletic department. Members consist of alumni, former FAMU employees, and several athletic supporters.
Wood, who speaks regularly at the meetings, presented a detailed presentation about the new class of recruitments. The presentation included videos highlights and player profiles.
This year’s 2016 class consists of 22 high school recruitments and nine junior college players. Including three All Americans and 23 former team captains.
Five offensive lineman, six defensive lineman, two specialist, three running backs, four linebackers, two tight ends, two corner backs, two quarterbacks, two safeties, and three wide receivers were all added to the roster.
Wood discussed the department’s proposal to push for academic achievement. He revealed that the new players average a 3.02 GPA, 21 on the American College Test, a 910 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
“The plan is to change the profile of the student athletes from an academic perspective.” Wood said.
The new plan is a part of written proposal submitted to the National Collegiate Athletic Assocaition, as a waiver to get spring football back for next year. Last November FAMU announced that after an internal investigation, the NCAA had fined the school for several violations, including low Academic Progress Rates and scores.
For the past two years FAMU has been in the process of revamping their athletics department. Last August the department brought in new defensive coordinator Theo Lemon and Athletic Director Milton Overton
Overton has been adamant about the academic achievement for student athletes. Even introducing a 100-day plan that pushes for building a better academic foundation by starting in the classroom.
"If we start in the classroom first, then everything else will come. Building champions in life happens when you recruit and make sure student-athletes have a good experience in the classroom and on the campus.” Overton said.
The Rattlers’ Football team wrapped up last season with a 1-10 record. Wood is confident that 2016 class will bring the necessary energy and charisma needed to bring home more wins in the new season.
“It’s a new year, we get to start over again” Wood said. “That’s the great thing about sports; we get a new start to do something different and better.”
The Rattlers will kick off their 2016-2017 season Sept. 3 against the University of Miami in Miami Gardens, Fla.