FAMU aims to be pipeline to NFL

Markquese Bell’s Invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine.
Photo courtesy: Instagram page @famufb

The traits of a star athlete go far beyond their notable playing skills. It takes a disciplined mindset, strong worth ethic, professionalism and so much more.

It may not be every college athlete’s dream to go pro, but for the majority, it is a huge goal. Markquese Bell, a recent Florida A&M graduate and former safety player for the Rattlers, was recently drafted into the NFL and now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. This raises the question of how FAMU Football is preparing their athletes for the professional sports league.

TJ Lee, second-year psychology major and center for the football team explained how since his first practice as a freshman his coaches eliminated any rookie mindset they may have come in with.

“Coach told me first day on the field, they told me ‘You’re not a freshman, so don’t act like one,” Lee said.

 Lee believes that you must embody what you want to become, so he approaches football with the mindset as if he is already a pro.

“If you want to go pro, act pro,” said Lee.

TJ also mentioned that their head coach Willie Simmons serves as a role model for the team and sets the standard for professionalism. They see him wearing suits and carrying himself a certain way, and they tend to mimic that.

“If you want to be professional, act professional; the mindset remains,” Lee added.

Jordan Cumberbatch, a second-year transfer student from Alabama A&M, and safety for the FAMU football team believes that it’s important to start and prepare early to play at the national level.

“The system and plays that we run are that of the NFL type,” Cumberbatch said.

“The way we study film, carry ourselves, and all the work that we put in is done with professionalism in mind.”

When asked if there was anything that the football department could improve on, Cumberbatch believes higher administrative resources are the only thing hindering the team.

“FAMU could buckle down on athletic compliance and academic resources within the program,” Cumberbatch added.

With the correct mindset, professionalism and amount of effort put in, athletes in this program can expect to graduate with sharpened talents on and off the field and embody what it takes to be a true star player.