Team pumped for spring

It’s spring time and Florida A&M head football coach Joe Taylor is evaluating his depth chart for the upcoming season.

Spring practice starts on Monday and will include 15 sessions over a span of five weeks. The team will practice Monday and Tuesday, take Wednesday off, then resume on Thursday. They will then take Friday off and end each week with a Saturday morning scrimmage. The spring game will be held 5 p.m. April 3 at the conclusion of FAMU’s annual Be Out Day.

Taylor said there will be no shortage of tough competition on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, redshirt freshman QB Martin Ukpai remains the frontrunner at the position.

True freshman QB Austin Trainor has yet to take a snap, but his teammates call him “Tebow,” comparing his game to the former University of Florida Heisman Trophy winner.

The most experienced quarterback on the roster is Eddie Battle, who split time with QB Curtis Pulley in 2008 and has played 18 games.

At running back, sophomore Lavante Page will return to action after being struck by a stray bullet following last season’s opener. While undergoing rehab, Page could not do anything football related for four months, but he said he is ready to get back on the field.

“I just want to come out strong and finish strong and just be able to get in the groove again,” Page said. “The goal is to be the highlight of the spring and the person that everybody talks about.”

Defensively, Taylor will be keeping a close eye on the battle for starting positions on the interior line.

Two former offensive linemen, Frank Carter and Brandon Davis, have been switched to defensive line and are expected to make an immediate impact.

“The defensive line is probably where we’ll have our most competition,” Taylor said. “Frank Carter is about 365 pounds. We’re going to take him from offense and put him on defense; right in the middle of the defensive line and dare anybody to block him.”

Davis, who Taylor believes is probably the most talented athlete on the team, said he plans to use spring practice to learn as much as he can.

“I plan on coming out here and becoming better but competing at the same time,” said Davis, a 6-4, 275-pound sophomore. “I feel like I bring a lot of intensity and hype to the d-line.”

Coach Taylor also has high expectations for his special teams unit.

Jags like LeRoy

While it is still unclear what round of the NFL Draft FAMU kick/punt return specialist LeRoy Vann is expected to be picked, Coach Taylor said there is “high interest” from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team held a private workout session with Vann on Monday on FAMU’s campus.