NFL scouts are making their way to FAMU practices like never before. The morning of Aug. 20 there were seven scouts at the Rattlers’ practice.
This level of attention to the talent on the football team is further proof that the program is headed in the right direction.
Coach William Simmons was ecstatic. “SEVEN NFL Scouts at practice this morning! That’s now 16 of the 32 teams represented scouting our guys in the first 12 practices! BIG things are happening on the Highest of Seven Hills in Tallahassee!,” Simmons tweeted on Aug. 20. Simmons also included the hashtags FAMULY, FangsUp, WhyNotUs and LeaveNoDoubt.
While the scouts have plenty to see, there were three immediate attention-grabbers: Markquese Bell, Christopher Faddoul and Xavier Smith.
Faddoul has led the nation in punting and is a two-time All-American. Pro teams have taken an interest in his leg. Faddoul motived by Greg Coleman, a former Florida A&M University punter with a 12-year career in the NFL, and his dad, a former olympian.
Faddaul has had some interesting encounters with pro scouts. “I am not going to name the team name but when I told a scout I was from Lebanon he asked do I look normal over there or do I look out of the blue because I have blue eyes and red hair,” Faddoul said.
Bell, a senior safety, is rated No. 1 out of the top 40 HBCU players according to the draft network. He is 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds of muscle. He’s quick and has the nickname “Ring My Bell,” for his vicious hits.
Smith, a wide receiver, is rated No.12 out of the top 40 HBCU players. He is standing out as a sophomore. While he still has a year of eligibility remaining after this season, only time will tell if he suits up for the orange and green after the 2021 season.
Several others caught the eye of pro scouts as well.
Lovie Jenkins, a Louisville transfer, is looking to make his presence known as a Rattler. “I am very blessed to have the opportunity to show scouts what I’m capable of on the field,” Jenkins said.
Missing the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Chad Hunter, is on a mission with a full head of steam. He said he gives 100 percent no matter who’s around.
“I don’t pay attention to the them [scouts]. I just work how I work and eventually they will see me,” Hunter said. “I’m just trying to live out my cousin’s dream. He went to college but he wasn’t able to finish out his dream of playing at the next level, so it’s up to me finish out his dream.”