How is FAMU football faring during COVID-19?

FAMU center Bryan Crawford snaps the ball to John Holcombe during the first day of spring practice. Photo courtesy of Tallahassee Democrat

COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, has affected everyone and everything during this pandemic, including FAMU football.

Due to the coronavirus, the spring season and recruitment for FAMU football has come to a halt — as it has at every college program in the country.

Jared Brown, a Florida A&M alum and football fan, believes that this pandemic has taken a toll on the football program. “I think it definitely hurts us a bit being that spring practice is a great time to see where we stand going into next season; after losing a great class of seniors, including our starting quarterback,” he said.

Although the Rattlers lost their stellar quarterback Ryan Stanley, Kansas State University transfer John Holcombe was a main target for spectators and coaches to keep an eye on in the spring game.

“During this time we usually have the spring game and spring preview, a great time where some prospective student-athletes can see what FAMU is all about,” Brown said.

The spring game, scheduled for March 28, was canceled due to the coronavirus. The spring game is a perfect time for recruits to come on campus, and take a look at the football program, facilities and campus.

After a successful National Signing Day in February, where the Rattlers gained 16 signees, it seemed to only get better: 6-foot-1, 195 pound athlete Anthony Beavers placed Florida A&M in the top five of his college choices among other power-five Division I schools.

Beavers released a graphic on his Twitter account with his five choices of Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Arizona State, Florida A&M, and San Diego State, saying, “I owe myself I told myself back then that I would do this.”
Florida A&M sophomore wide receiver and return specialist, Blake Simpson has realized the importance of spring football in his tenure with the Rattlers.

“It (coronavirus) has affected the entire spring football season. It’s unfortunate because spring football is a key part to our success in the fall,” Simpson said. “We use spring to not only get our bodies stronger, but to also get faster and get more familiar with the playbook as well.”

The Rattlers’ coaching staff has ensured that the pandemic will not affect all operations of spring football. The staff has created different workout plans for the players to stay in shape.

Zoom is not only being used for the classroom, but for the locker room as well to stay updated on opponents. “We have had position meetings via Zoom frequently to stay familiar with the playbook and to also watch film on us and our upcoming opponents for the fall,” Simpson said.

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