FAMU players give weekly defense art clinic

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Football education camps are generally reserved for the summer months.

Now is the time for participants to receive hands-on training on the nuances of the game and their specific position.

Florida A&M has skipped the summer and is holding its camp in the fall.

Every week, the defense gives classes on the art of covering, offloading and tackling.

The registration fee for this clinic is the authorized average of 11.8 points. Attendance at camp does not come with a T-shirt and snacks.

From heavyweight defensive linemen to nimble high school athletes, the work of the unit is a masterful blend of power and fun.

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Their pushing forward, sideways movement, or backpedaling feels like river currents on a hot day.

As an observer, we let ourselves be carried away by the current and navigate while basking in the landscape.

But for the opposition, it’s a swim upstream that exhausts to tire.

Even on missteps with a mission, players are able to tell the difference.

Whenever there is a full pass, the opposing receiver is either hit immediately or in a positive short after the catch.

The state of South Carolina discovered it on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs have entered as scoring campers at a rate of 30.2 per game. They left the room with a 30-7 loss. Their only touchdown came in the fourth quarter with the contest well out of reach.

In a pre-game chat with a FAMU defensive coach, I told him I expected to see a bunch of turnovers. He informed Bulldogs quarterback Corey Fields was more precise than previous quarterbacks they’ve faced to date.

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These words were a demonstration of humility and not to get caught up in praise.

Fields is a talented quarterback. But even he was not up to the superior skills of “Dark Cloud Defense”.

He had his worst outing of the season, going 8 of 23 for 75 yards with three interceptions.

Nadarius Fagan, Javan Morgan and Lovie Jenkins ripped off those picks for the Rattlers.

While the evidence is clear on FAMU’s defensive dominance, as are their coaches, the players are not gassed by the hype.

Whenever I share praise greetings, I’m quickly faced with “Yeah, but” responses.

“We are not happy. We are still playing behind the eight,” said FAMU safety Markquese Bell.

“We don’t take any team lightly. Conference or non-conference, we want to go undefeated for the rest of the season.”

Hearing this commentary deepens my appreciation for who they are, what they’ve been up to and what’s to come.

FAMU runs its defensive clinic at home and on the road.

This coming Saturday, the campgrounds are in Huntsville against Alabama A&M.

The Rattlers are looking to continue their weekly tutorials and smother famous quarterback Aqeel Glass.

Traditionally, football celebrates offense and big numbers on the scoreboard. Highlights on TV or the web are filled with frenetic runs, long passes, and one-handed grabs.

But when it comes to FAMU, the must-see moments are on the defensive side of the ball.

These sights are scenic swimming techniques for moving through blockers, quick pivots, and full tackles.

It’s a reel of teachable highlights.

Remember, if you tell them about their excellence, these camp counselors won’t be moved by the congratulations.

They smile humbly and will say in their unique way, “Yeah, but.”

“We have to let people know who we are. Every game we show our football level and what FAMU defense is,” said Rattlers linebacker Isaiah Land.

SC state 0 0 0 7 – 7

UGAF 0 20 7 3 – 30

Rating summary

Second quarter

FAMU – Terrell Jennings 3-yard run (Jose Romo-Martinez kick) 14:11, 8 plays, 52 yards, TOP 4:22

FAMU – Jose Romo-Martinez 20 yards on the field 7:31, 7 plays, 22 yards, TOP 2:26

FAMU Jose Romo-Martinez 47-yard field goal 3:14, 7 plays, 22 yards, TOP 2:47

FAMU – Bishop Bonnett 23 yards (Jose Romo-Martinez kick) 1:07, 4 plays, 42 yards, TOP 1:00

Third quarter

FAMU – Kamari Young passes Rasean McKay 34 yards (Jose Romo-Martinez kick) 12:45, 4 plays, 62 yards, TOP 2: 07027

Fourth trimester

SCSU – Donte Anthony 1 yard run (Gavyn Zimmerman kick) 6:39, 12 plays, 80 yards, TOP 6:09

FAMU – Jose Romo-Martinez 51-yard field goal 0:11 4 plays, 3 yards, TOP 2:34

Statistics of the best players

Who passed

FAMU – Resean McKay 14 of 24, 181 yards, 1 TD

SCSU – Corey Fields 8 of 20 75 yards 2 INT

To rush

FAMU – Bishop Bonnett 12 rushes, 118 yards 1 TD

FAMU – Terrell Jennings 16 rushes, 59 yards, 1 TD

SCSU – Kenddrel Flowers 13 rushes, 17 meters

Reception

FAMU – David Manigo 7 receptions, 82 yards

FAMU – Kamari Young 1 reception, 34 yards, 1 TD

SCSU – Will Vereen 3 receptions, 27 yards

SCSU – Jacory Benson 3 receptions, 22 yards

Defense

FAMU – Markquese Bell 9 tackles, 1 forced fumble

FAMU – Isaiah Land 8 tackles, 5 sacks

FAMU – BJ Bohler 6 tackles

FAMU – Nadarius Fagan 1 tackle, 1 interception

FAMU – Interception of Javan Morgan 1

FAMU – Lovie Jenkins 1 interception

SCSU – Decobie Durant 10 tackles

Follow FAMU beat writer Rory Sharrock on Twitter @rattlernews and @ married2game1.

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