FAMU shows promise during 2019 Orange and Green game

Sophomore wide receiver Xavier Smith on the sidelines during the Orange and Green game on March 31st.
Photo Submitted by Ahmon Lott.

With a packed house at Bragg stadium of 7,304 fans in attendance, the Florida A&M football team  gave fans and coaches something to be excited about heading into the 2019 season in the annual Orange and Green Spring game.

The Orange team won the game 17-14 over the Green team on a field goal that was kicked by sophomore kicker Chris Faddoul, who was presented his All-American awards from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) the Associated Press and a plaque from the NCAA who recognized his punting championship in 2018 when he averaged 46.8 yards per kick.

The roster was split into arrangements with assistant coaches being split along with players.

“The whole experience was fun doing a little mini draft and seeing who will match up with who it was great getting out here giving the fans a preview for the 2019 football season,” senior QB Ryan Stanley,  who threw for 217 yards and two scores for the Green team in the spring scrimmage said

Not only was the game exciting for the offense but it was enjoyable for the defense as well.

“Today was a great day for the whole school obviously,” redshirt Junior safety  Terry Jefferson said. “Just to pick the team up like that, obviously it was a great thing being able to rearrange things other than just going offense versus defense. Having defensive guys competing with other defensive guys, leveling up the level of competition and being able to have more competitiveness within the scrimmage.”

One of the major things to focus on in the spring game was the play of the quarterbacks besides Stanley. Redshirt freshman QB Resean McKay and junior QB D.J. Phillips took turns running the offense for the Orange team.

“Those guys have performed well all spring. Having a veteran leader like Ryan definitely helps,” head football coach Willie Simmons said after the game.

With multiple playmakers on this team, such as Deshawn Smith who rushed for 130 yards and two scores in the game, as well as pass catchers Chad Hunter, David Manigio and Jordan Reed, coach Simmons expressed how this type of depth will help against future opponents.

“The more depth that we get the more comfortable we as coaches feel playing multiple guys which obviously keeps us fresh which gives us a competitive advantage of our opponents.

“That’s what you wanna see throughout your team, that guys compete hard every day against one another but they help one another pull from one another and we preach oneness. I think that this group I’m able to coach is exemplary of what we’re trying to accomplish here at FAMU.”

The team will have additional practice this week to close out the spring session.