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Gauging the five most intriguing players of FAMU football’s 2024 recruiting class thus far

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The Florida A&M Rattlers are trying to reload for another run at the Black College Football National Championship. So, it’s picked up key pieces in their 2024 recruiting class.

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The Florida A&M Rattlers are trying to emulate success on the football field of last year.

But the team will look slightly different under new head coach James Colzie III and his inaugural recruiting class.

Hired on Jan. 27, Colzie replaces former Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons, who left to become Duke’s running backs coach on Jan 1.

As Colzie prepares for his first season of leading FAMU football, he’s tasked with filling the voids of key Rattlers who helped the team win its first Southwestern Athletic Conference and Celebration Bowl championships last season.

FAMU has some gems joining Colzie’s 2024 Rattlers football team. And that’s with the spring’s NCAA Transfer Portal period left to spare.

So, here’s the most intriguing new Rattlers.

Brekien Harold | Freshman Defensive Lineman | Chaminade-Madonna

Brekien Harold is among the few high school signees in FAMU’s 2024 recruiting class.

The defensive lineman comes to FAMU from MaxPreps’ No. 2 football team in the nation, Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School in Hollywood. Last December, the Lions won the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1M State Championship on the Rattlers’ Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder finished with 50 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks for Chaminade-Madonna as a senior last season.

Additionally, Harold played most of his high school football career at Cardinal-Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale, where he won a FHSAA 4A State Championship.

Harold held offers from Georgia Southern and FAMU’s rival Bethune-Cookman, among other programs, before signing his National Letter of Intent last Wednesday.

Daniel Richardson |Graduate Student Quarterback | Florida Atlantic

FAMU is searching for a new starting quarterback after the graduation of the 2023 SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, Jeremy Moussa.

So, the Rattlers have landed former Central Michigan and Florida Atlantic quarterback Daniel Richardson, who signed in December.

The Miami native has completed 61 percent of his passes for 7,392 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions during his career at CMU and FAU. Last season, he played 11 games for the FAU Owls and passed for 2,001 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions on a 65 percent completion rate.

Richardson, 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, will be inserted in a quarterback battle with Junior Muratovic to identify the best fit to lead the Rattler offense.

Richardson enters FAMU’s locker room with previous chemistry with two Rattler newcomers.

He played with wide receiver A’Ceon Cobb and was teammates with Central Florida transfer Amari Johnson at Miami Carol City Senior High School.

Rodney Hill | Redshirt Sophomore Running Back | Florida State

At last, Rodney Hill is a Rattler.

The former Florida State running back originally committed to FAMU last December but de-committed after Simmons’ January departure to Duke.

Hill had since committed to play for the Miami Hurricanes but was convinced to join FAMU by new Rattlers head coach Colzie, who’s also a former Seminoles football player.

The former FSU ball carrier signed with the Rattlers during last week’s signing day.

Hill, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, played two seasons for the Seminoles and tallied 77 carries for 334 yards and two touchdowns.

The Statesboro, Georgia native Hill joins FAMU’s running back room of Celebration Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player Kelvin Dean Jr. and former Godby High School star Jaquez Yant.

Montra Edwards | Redshirt Junior Defensive Lineman | Copiah-Lincoln Community College

FAMU improved in the defensive trenches with the December signing of Montra Edwards from Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Edwards also has Football Bowl Subdivision experience with stints at Mizzou and Southern Miss.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive lineman totaled 27 tackles and four sacks in six games for the Co-Lin Wolves in 2023.

Edwards joins All-SWAC selections Anthony Dunn Jr. and Gentle Hunt on FAMU’s ‘Dark Cloud Defense’ front line.

Demorie Tate | Redshirt Senior Defensive Back | Florida State

FAMU has a five-star talent in defensive back Demorie Tate.

Tate originally played at Florida State, signing in 2020 as a five-star prospect based on 247 Sports’ metrics. He was the highest-ranked recruit during the Seminoles’ head coach Mike Norvell era.

He entered the transfer portal following the 2022 season but didn’t play anywhere in 2023.

The Orlando native Tate is 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds. He signed with FAMU during the early signing period last December.

Tate, a coveted addition looking to bounce back, will play 2024 with a chip on his shoulder as he returns to football.

Tate’s addition to FAMU’s defensive backs will assist All-American cornerback and fellow Orlando native Kendall Bohler.

Florida A&M Rattlers Football Recruiting Class as of Feb. 12, 2024

This list is players that are either signed, committed, or will join the FAMU Rattlers as a preferred walk-on for the 2024 football season.

Quarterback

Alston Hooker ― North Carolina A&T

Daniel Richardson ― Florida Atlantic

Running Back

Rodney Hill ― Florida State

Jaylen Neal ― Buford High School (Georgia)

Wide Receiver

A’Ceon Cobb ― Florida Atlantic

Caden Bridgeman — Niceville High School

Amari Johnson ― Central Florida

Tight End

Jayden Evans ― Central Michigan

Offensive Line

Jeremy Fishkin ― Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Florida)

Ralphael Williams Jr. ― Crisp County High School (Cordele, Georgia)

Defensive Line

Montra Edwards ― Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Brekien Harold ― Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory (Hollywood, Florida)

Linebacker

Darrick McGhee Jr. — Florida High School (Tallahassee, Florida)

Landon Bolding ― Monarch High School (Coconut Creek, Florida)

Defensive Back

Jameel Sanders ― South Florida

Demorie Tate ― Florida State

Specialists

Max Larson ― Kicker ― Florida State

Andrew Tisher ― Punter ― Stetson

Gerald Thomas, III covers Florida A&M University Athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at gdthomas@tallahassee.com or on the app formerly known as Twitter @3peatgee.

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