Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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."


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