Sunday, March 31, 2013

Alabama A&M's Brandons, Wells and Eldemire, shine in spring football game

(Photo Courtesy: AAMU Athletics)

NORMAL, Alabama  --  Saturday was a good day for dudes named Brandon at Alabama A&M.

Calera native Brandon Wells shined at quarterback and Brandon Eldemire showcased the talent he'd exhibited throughout spring training in front of the 200 or 300 fans who showed up for the Bulldogs' annual Maroon and White Spring football game at Louis Crews Stadium.

In a scrimmage dominated by the defense, Wells, a redshirt freshman, came on strong in the second half, completing 5 of 6 attempts for 113 yards and a touchdown. He made an impression on A&M coach Anthony Jones, heading into what will be a three-man battle, which will also include JUCO transfer junior Kyle Harmyk and redshirt freshman Chris Leachman, for the starting gig in the fall.

"I thought Brandon separated himself today from the other two guys," Jones said. "Except for his first series, when he took a quick sack, it really wasn't his fault but he didn't hold onto the ball. At the end of the day, you want you quarterbacks holding onto the ball regardless of how hard the hit was. It was a good hit but he should've held on to it. Other than that, I thought he had the most command out there. I though he knew, more so, what was going on. He made more of the decisive reads and throws than any other quarterback out there."

Wells, a 6-foot-3, 170-pounder, started the contest with the first-team offense and but looked much more collected after losing the ball while taking a shot from defensive end Corey Johnson which led to a scoop and score by defensive back Jeremy Isabelle.

"I was kind of just rushing myself at the beginning then I just settled down and let the game come to me more."

Eldemire got the majority of the carries in the game along with Wenonah product Ja'Won Arrington. JUCO transfer Jabari Baker and Brendan Johnson, the Bulldogs' third-leading rusher last season, both sat out with injuries.

Alabama A&M running back Brandon Eldemire carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns during Saturday's spring game. (Courtesy of Alabama A&M University)
Eldemire, who rushed only 16 yards on four carries in as many games last season, seized the day. He carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards, including three rushes of 10 or more yards, and two touchdowns in the first half.

"I just thank God for every opportunity I get out there to run the ball," Eldemire said. "We've got a plethora of running backs all with good skill sets, some fast, some just big, some can do both. I always just go out there and try to take advantage of my opportunities just to show my coaches that I want to be out there and I want to contribute to the team."


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