New era underway for FAMU football

First day of spring practice
Photo Courtesy: Hannah Kirby

The Rattlers concluded their first official spring practice of the 2024 season Tuesday morning at Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

Under the new leadership of FAMU coach James Colzie III, the team has a fiery energy.

Colzie previously served as the assistant head coach under Willie Simmons, who left FAMU on Jan. 1 for Duke University after six spectacular seasons, including the 2023 HBCU national championship.

Colzie looks forward to the upcoming season as he extends the legacy of FAMU football.

“Nothing has changed; I want our operations to be good, to make sure we are taking care of our details and to make sure we are hustling on and off the field. Nothing is going to change since I am the head coach,” Colzie said. “I have talked to a couple of the past head coaches, and they have told me the same thing: ‘Make sure we win, play well, and win games,’ and that is obviously what we are trying to do.”

Players said they are excited to return to Bragg in anticipation of the upcoming season. The Rattlers are the reigning SWAC and HBCU national champions, and look to continue to advance this year. They have been working hard to maintain their skills on and off the field to remain competitive.

Defensive lineman Gentle Hunt has returned to Bragg after entering the portal after the 2023 season. He said he is excited to be back with his teammates and looking to see how they can improve this season.

“The hardest thing in college football is to repeat. This first day it is important to get back into the swing of things and understand the coaching we have had so far,” Hunt said.

Joseph Henry, recently elevated to the assistant head coach position for the Rattlers,  is enjoying all the fresh energy that has filled the locker room and the field. Henry acknowledges that this season is off to a great start after Tuesday morning’s practice.

“Spring is about competing, putting your best foot forward. We believe competition breeds success, and the cream will eventually rise to the top,” Henry said.

Players will continue to compete and play hard for the duration of the 6-week, 15 practices this spring. You can see the Rattlers live in action on April 13, 2024, for the Spring Game at Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium.