Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Auburn transfer DE Raashed Kennion joins FAMU Rattlers

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Defensive end Raashed Kennion, who earlier this month left Auburn to "pursue politics," according to reports, is listed on Florida A&M's roster.

Kennion, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end who was a three-star prospect in the class of 2014, according to 247Sports' composite rankings, arrived in Tallahassee last week. In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, the junior said his mother, father and grandparents all attended Florida A&M and he "wanted to continue the legacy."

He added he's going to major in political science while at FAMU.

"It was a very hard decision," Kennion said about leaving Auburn. "Probably one of the the harder ones in my life. I had to go with my heart, honestly. I established a lot at Auburn and it hurt."

Kennion was primarily a backup on Auburn's line during the 2015 season. He played in eight games and recorded eight total tackles and one tackle for loss.


Sanford Seminole's Demetrius Artis works to be leader at FAMU, home

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Life hasn't exactly been easy for Demetrius Artis.

The Florida A&M redshirt freshman linebacker doesn't complain. He battles.

That's the way of life in Sanford and that's what Maurice Artis taught his two sons, Demetrius and DeMarco, who have refined their football skills on the fields of Seminole High.

Maurice Artis, however, was not there to watch Demetrius play his senior year of high school football. The elder Artis passed away in his sleep in 2013, a victim of natural causes at the age of 40. Demetrius Artis found his father that morning. It will stick with him the rest of his life.

"It was a devastating moment. It still is devastating," Demetrius said. "It gets hard to deal with, but you gotta keep pushing and do what would make him happy."

Demetrius Artis was suddenly the man of the house. His grandmother moved in to help out with the three children, older sister DeMaria, Demetrius and youngest DeMarco, but it wasn't easy living without their father.


Rankin: Pivotal year for Jenkins, ASU

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Alabama State passed the test.

Brian Jenkins has had his team practicing during the peak heat hours in preparation for the 2016 season and believes the Hornets have met the challenge.

“I really wanted to test this team and see where their will and drive was at and I tell you what, they’ve responded,” Jenkins said. “They really have and that’s always a good thing to see out of your team this early in the year.”

It’s been nearly two years since Jenkins replaced Reggie Barlow after the 2014 season. There have been highs and lows throughout, but ASU has found its comfort zone with its demanding head coach and staff.

“Comfortably with the coaching staff is the main thing,” Jenkins said. “The closeness as a group and as a program is another thing that I’ve noticed. Their expectation of the coaching staff and the coaching staff’s expectations of the players, you notice that instantly. Their work ethic. It’s not a lot of talk out there on the field. It’s a lot of encouragement on all ends.”


A contrast in styles, SU's Willie Quinn and Randall Menard work well together

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Earlier this week, Southern caught its first glimpse of what its offense might be capable of this season.

On the practice field for the first time together in 2016 were senior receivers Willie Quinn and Randall Menard, a pair who contrast in ability but work well in tandem.

The 6-foot-3 Menard missed all of preseason camp while recovering from a hamstring injury. But he showed what he brings to the offense in his first full practice with the team Tuesday.

“That’s an extra weapon,” Quinn said. “That’s like having Dez Bryant back. Everybody needs that Dez Bryant on their team.”

Quinn is almost a full head shorter than Menard at a listed 5-foot-5, but he makes up for his height by often being the most elusive player on the field.


Alabama A&M makes coordinator changes after 3-win season

NORMAL, Alabama -- Will this be the year Alabama A&M puts the pieces together?

The Bulldogs are 7-16 in two seasons under coach James Spady, including last year's 3-8 mark. Spady has taken over play-calling duties and he hired a new defensive coordinators to help turn around a Bulldogs squad that is picked to finish fourth among five teams in the SWAC East Division.

"I do feel a little bit of pressure," Spady said, "but more self-imposed than anything, to make sure we're in a position to compete. It's Year 3; we should be able to compete, for goodness sake. We've got a team full of guys who have a lot of experience and I expect them to turn the corner and I expect us to do better this year."

Returning at quarterback is senior De'Angelo Ballard, who threw for 1,516 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions last season. He was also the team's No. 2 rusher with 340 yards and four scores. Four of Ballard's top-five receivers are back, led by senior Tevin McKenzie, who had 32 grabs for 472 yards and four TDs.

"Tuttie (Ballard) is a more experienced player now," McKenzie said. "He's ready. We studied a lot of film over the summer and worked hard with one-on-ones. You have to have quarterback-receiver chemistry. If your eyes aren't on the same page, nothing would click."


from THE EDITOR Dwight Floyd: South Carolina State @ FAMU Football Game Four Preseason Pick

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- This will be FAMU’s first home game of 2016 and it will be a good one.

Last year the South Carolina State Bulldogs rushed for over 350 yards and led by 16 points at the half. FAMU could not muster any kind of offense and gave the Bulldogs multiple opportunities to pound the FAMU defense. This year the Bulldogs will face a better prepared Rattler team with more talent on offense.

I give FAMU the advantage in the passing game. Should the Rattlers find a way to slow down the Bulldogs rushing game and force them to pass, don’t be surprised to see a close game or even a FAMU win.


XULA students, athletes assist in #BRflood cleanup

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana students helped this past weekend with recovery from recent catastrophic flooding in the state.
Thirty-one XULA students — including athletes Elex CarterSeth JacksonInnocent KukuluLucas Martin-JulienWesley Pluviose-Philip and Chris Ward from men's basketball and Clarke AllenKeairez ColemanKatelyn McMorris and Darrick Williams from men's and women's track and field/cross country — traveled to Baton Rouge Saturday. They volunteered their time to gut flooded houses or work at a Red Cross shelter.


"It was easy for me to volunteer," said Jackson, a Baton Rouge resident whose house did not flood. "I wanted to help my city."
Jackson and teammates spent nearly four hours in a flooded home. Their duties included cutting open walls to a height of four feet and carrying wet furniture to the curb. There was no air conditioning, and the volunteers more masks and gloves to avoid contact with mold.
 "It was pretty hot in that house," Jackson said.
But Jackson left the house feeling good about his group's efforts. "I wish we could have stayed and helped a little longer," he said.
Jackson took advantage of another opportunity Sunday when he helped with cleanup at a cousin's house in Baton Rouge. XULA's fall semester began Monday.
According to reports from the Baton Rouge Advocate and Times-Picayune, the flooding across the southern part of the state from the second weekend of August has left at least 13 people dead and thousands more displaced. More than 120,000 households have applied for federal recovery assistance through FEMA, and 2,817 people remained in shelters overnight Sunday. FEMA announced Tuesday the approval of approximately $127 million for for flood survivors.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director