18 seniors participate in FAMU Pro Day

Jeremy Moussa taking a snap
Photo courtesy: FAMU Athletics

FAMU’s Pro Day unfolded on Thursday at Bragg Memorial Stadium, providing seniors with a platform to display their talents before NFL scouts. For the third consecutive year, the event attracted a growing number of NFL Scouts, including head coaches and general managers. This year witnessed a notable increase in both scout attendance and player participation, with 18 seniors from the Rattlers showcasing their abilities—an impressive leap from the previous year’s seven participants. While 22 NFL scouts attended last year’s Pro Day this year it was a slight decrease with 18 NFL scouts present, but it’s worth noting that just five years ago, in 2019, no scouts were present, an indication of the remarkable transformation over a short span.

Coming off a historic 12-1 season and a victory in the celebration bowl against Howard University, the Rattlers face significant departures of key players this offseason. Notable losses include quarterback Jeremy Moussa, recipient of the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year award, linebacker Isaiah Major, the team’s top NFL prospect and SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, Eric Smith, standout defensive back with four interceptions, Terrell Jennings, leading rusher with ten touchdowns, and Marcus Riley, the team’s leader in receiving yards and touchdowns.

Isaiah Major running
Photo courtesy: FAMU Athletics

These key players showcased their abilities admirably at the Pro Day. Major impressed with 20 reps on the bench press and a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, while Riley displayed his speed with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and exceptional catching skills. Jennings, known for his downhill running style, recorded a solid 4.5-second 40-yard dash, underscoring his versatility as a running back. Moussa demonstrated his quarterback skills with precise throws, showcasing the attributes expected of an elite NFL quarterback. However, it was DB Smith who stole the spotlight with his remarkable speed, clocking a blazing 4.38-second 40-yard dash. Smith may be overlooked due to his small frame standing 5 ’10 weighing 177 pounds, but his blazing speed caught the NFL scout’s eye. He ran a 4.34 at the HBCU Legacy Bowl combine and a 4.38 at his pro day.   

Reflecting on his performance, Smith expressed some disappointment with his 40-yard dash times, though he remains confident in his overall performance and believes his draft stock is promising. “I’m upset a little because I feel like I didn’t reach my full potential 40 times but overall, I did good,” stated Smith. Similarly, Major expressed satisfaction with his Pro Day performance, having achieved the targets he set for himself. He also revealed discussions with several NFL teams, including the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Cleveland Browns.

Javan Morgan in a drill
Photo courtesy: FAMU Athletics

Looking ahead, the future appears bright for the showcased seniors. Despite significant losses, including former head coach Willie Simmons, who transitioned to a coaching position at Duke, the Rattlers have secured major signings from prominent FBS schools such as UCF and Florida State. With James Colzie III, the former Defensive Backs Coach, stepping up as head coach following Simmons’s departure, the Rattlers’ football program appears to be in capable hands, poised for continued success.