Everyone in Tallahassee seems to know that it is hard to hide that Rattler Pride.
This has been confirmed as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released attendance numbers for the 2017 football season, and Florida A&M University ranks third amongst 124 programs in the Football Championship Subdivision in attendance.
FAMU had a total of 76,190 fans through the gates in four games, setting an average of 19,048 fans per game.
The only programs to finish in front of FAMU was last years attendance champion the University of Montana with an average of 23,535 fans per game, and runner-up for the Florida Championship Subdivision (FCS), James Madison with an average of 21,724 fans per game.
The Host of FAMU’ 90.5 sports show, The Playmakers, Markeith Cromartie was thoroughly shocked at the news.
“I go to almost every game and I see all the empty seats and open space, I’m shocked to know that we are ranked so high in attendance.”
Cromartie continued to say, “this just lead me to believe once we are able to get the football team winning again there is no doubt we can possibly lead the FCS in attendance.”
The football team has now finished third in attendance in the FCS for the second year in a row, despite having consecutive disappointing seasons going on a combined 7-15.
FAMU Head of Marketing and Fan Engagement Kendrell Watkins said, “I believe this just speaks to the amount of rattler pride that exists on this campus, the support from the alumni and students are both still there despite the struggles that the football team has been experiencing. With a new coach and excitement brewing, I expect attendance to continue to increase.”
In terms of overall conferences in the FCS, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) finished fifth out of 13 conferences in attendance with the average home game bringing in just under 9,500 people. The numbers were up for attendance in the MEAC an average of 600 people per game, the largest increase in the FCS from 2016, to 2017.
With new Head Football Coach Willie Simmons now calling the shots for the Rattlers, excitement is beginning to boil over, and it’s leading to recruits. Incoming freshmen Ferante Cowert, from Tallahassee Rickards High School said, “the main part of the reason I decided to commit to Florida A&M is because of the electric atmosphere on game day.”
“My visit started at 9 am, and the game was not until 3 p.m., but it felt like kick off was right around the corner,” said the Cowert.
Florida A&M will have a total of four conference home games, with the Hampton game on October 20th still in question due to them moving conferences.
There has also been a game against Jackson State confirmed where FAMU will be the home team, however, the site of the game has not been confirmed.
The full schedule is expected to be released during the Spring.