Column: Assessing FAMU’s haul on Signing Day

Michael Moore photo courtesy Moore

The first Wednesday of February is like Christmas Day for collegiate football programs and high school student-athletes. It is National Signing Day.

The national letter of intent is what the athletes sign to seal their commitment to their respective college or university.

Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons has done an amazing job coming in and turning the football program around. Simmons has turned a 3-8 team to a highly acclaimed 10-2.

Our beloved university, FAMU, gained 16 signees on this Signing Day. One of whom is from my hometown, Pensacola. Malcolm Moultrie is a 6-foot-1, 300 pound defensive lineman.

Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the secondary has picked up a former four-star safety, who was also an All-American. Tray Bishop played at the University of Georgia and Navarro College before transferring to FAMU. Bishop will be a great fit for the Rattler defense, having two head-hunters at the safety position along with Markquese Bell.

Bell quoted Bishop’s tweet on Twitter stating “2020 gonna be real scary,” Bell said.

Benjamin Onwuzo, also a defensive back, is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds. He signed with FAMU over many power five program interests such as Louisville, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Missouri, Boston College, Indiana, Nebraska, Purdue and Rutgers. Last summer, Onwuzo was committed to the University of Minnesota. After opening up his recruitment in December, FAMU added another stellar defensive back to the stingy defense.

Onwuzo is ranked the 110th defensive back, and is the 156th best player in the state of Florida.

Tevin Griffey, son of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr., has also signed with FAMU.

FAMU is gaining depth at every position including special teams. Punter Austin Kurmay committed to FAMU. Kurmay is the second best punter in the Tampa Bay area. Kurmay was noticed on Twitter for his 64-yard punt that landed on the 1-yard line. Kurmay will come in alongside 4.0, All-American Chris Faddoul.

Rattler fans took their excitement to social media Wednesday for the successful day of signees. Has the time come where top-caliber athletes take their talents to HBCUs?

Catch the Rattlers in action in the season opener against Albany State in Miami Gardens for the Orange Blossom Classic.