FAMU football greats honored in all-star team

The fans of Florida A &M University struck, struck, and struck again as they voted for more than 2,000 players to make up what was known as an all-century team for the University’s football program.

The all-century team was selected to recognize the 100-year anniversary of the football program here at FAMU.

Upon announcing who would be honored on the program’s all-time greats list, a critical problem arose. The problem was trying to limit all the years of greatness into a one-set list of players.

At the end of the voting process, 65 players made the all-century team list. The team was presented at the last home game of the season, a victory over North Carolina A&T at 24-14.

Fans selected and casted votes by the thousands. The votes were somewhat of a difficulty because players are often made by the people who support them, on and off the field.

“For each football superstar that was chosen to be recognized, there are all the other teammates that contributed to their greatness,” said FAMU director of marketing Earl Kitchings.

One player that was honored in the all-time greats list was former FAMU wide receiver, now offensive coordinator Kent Schoolfield.

Schoolfield also coached at North Carolina A&T State University, which made the game even more special for him and the Rattlers’ fans.

Schoolfield was a 1970 graduate of FAMU. He was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

FAMU Athletic Director Dr. E. Newton said former and current students and fans picked the all-time players who, “wore orange and green and thrilled scores of thousands of fans the last 100 years.”

The varsity status for the Rattler football program was approved in 1906 and since then, the program has grown to one with 520 wins, 35 conference championships and 13 national titles.

The program has also produced over 100 professional athletes and 97 All-Americans. The audience witnessed a celebration within the game. The celebration was a true centennial of 100 great years of football. FAMU’s victory exhibited the “100 years of Blood, Sweat, and Tears,” on which the program was built upon.

Though the celebration was a success, it was not the biggest ticket-seller for the university.

“The ticket sales were less than normal actually. I think it was due to not having enough publicizing,” said Regina Battle, FAMU’s athletic ticket manager.

The drive and force brought to the program by Nathan B. Young, who was elected president in 1901, is what developed into games being played on the road.

Along with the halftime celebration, there was also a new cover designed for the 2005 Football Yearbook.

Some of the athletic greats that made up the cover were Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, Earl Holmes, and coach Rudy Hubbard. The project was designed by Alvin Hollins Jr.

These were some of the athletic greats that graced the natural grass field of Bragg Stadium, which was named after J.B. Bragg, known as “The father of Rattler football.” The Rattler program has soared to great heights since its creation in 1906.

The Rattler football program is currently 5-5 with its next game against Bethune- Cookman this Saturday in Orlando.

Contact Josh Smith at thefamuansports@hotmail.com