Known as one of the many leaders of Florida A&M’s stout defense (nicknamed “Orange Crush”), sophomore linebacker Derrick Mayweather proved on Saturday’s game against Fort Valley State University that there was no antidote for this Rattler.
In the first game of the 2018 football season, Mayweather recorded a team-high five tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss, earning him player of the week honors. In the win against FVSU, the number of rushing yards the Wildcats produced didn’t even go past zero. As a matter of fact, they only rushed for an abysmal -12 yards thanks in large part to Mayweather’s efforts.
Whether it was just bad offense by the Wildcats, good defense from the Rattlers or a combination of both, the numbers don’t lie and neither did the dominant performance that Mayweather had put on display to clog the running lanes.
“Pretty much every time we came onto the field, he (Coach Willie Simmons) just got us hyped up and we were just trying to fly around and make plays, whether that be a tfl (tackle for a loss) or a sack,” Mayweather said in his post game press conference.
Xavier Smith, who is a part of the Rattlers’ talented wide receiving core on offense, took a moment to heap praise upon his fellow teammate and described the energy he brought on the defensive side of the ball, and how that translated over to the offense.
“He just made plays all game, got the energy flowing on defense and that just so happened to carry over to the offense to get our momentum going early. He just set the tone and we made it happen.”
After the game, Mayweather didn’t just seem to get recognition from the reporters clamoring to interview him or a fellow teammate, but he also got high praise from Coach Simmons himself.
“I thought Derrick (Mayweather) performed extremely well, and our emphasis was to stop the run I’m very critical of that and that includes plugging the running lanes,” Simmons said. “Our defense as a whole did a great job holding FVSU to negative yards and hopefully, we can continue that heading into Troy (University) on Saturday.”
The Rattlers will head to Troy, Alabama to play the Trojans this upcoming Saturday at 6pm.